OCT. 14-16 – Breaking Down Barriers

Ephesians 2:13-14 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. 

Human beings need boundaries. We need physical boundaries, we need personal boundaries, we need emotional boundaries, we need family boundaries, we need boundaries between work and rest, and we need all sorts of other boundaries too. We need boundaries to survive and we need them to thrive. In fact, we need boundaries for our very sense of self; our boundaries enable us to define who we are and who we are not. When we have good boundaries in place, we are generally stronger and more resilient. That equips us to love and help others from a position of strength.

But in this sinful and broken world, boundaries often become hostile walls. Walls are a way of keeping other people out: physically, personally, emotionally, and in various other ways. Putting up a wall might mean shutting down, refusing to listen, moving away, or turning off. But it is not just in our personal relationships that we put up walls; there are also walls between groups, communities, and even nations. Sometimes there are literal, physical walls which act as symbols and expressions of the relational walls. Walls remind us that there is something very wrong in our world and in our relationships.

The walls come when we forget the gospel of Jesus Christ. They come when we forget that we, like others, are sinners in need of salvation. They come when we forget that those who believe in Jesus Christ are reconciled together to God, and that God loves us and forgives us and makes us secure and holy, together, by the cross of Christ. That’s who we really are. As soon as we forget who we really are, we define ourselves in some other way. So, we need to keep coming back to the cross of Christ. Because it’s in his death that the walls are broken down.

What walls might you have put up against others? Are all of these walls really just healthy boundaries, or do you have some hostile and illegitimate walls? How does the death of Jesus help to break down any illegitimate walls you may have?

Prayer:

Thank you for sending Jesus to break down the dividing wall of hostility. Thank you for the peace and reconciliation that we have in you. In the name of Jesus, our Peace.

Amen.

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