In November of 1989, the East German government announced it would allow limited travel across the West German border. within hours of this news, hundreds of thousands of East and West Germans gathered around the Berlin wall. A massive celebration erupted and people began spontaneously tearing down the wall with hammers and chisels. The rest is history, and in October 1990 Germany was reunified. The wall that had divided the people was brought down.
May I ask, are there any walls in your life that divide you from others? Walls that place you on one side and separate you from those other folks? Perhaps the young adult with more tattoos and piercings than you find comfortable? Maybe that Syrian family that just arrived at the airport? Could it be the Latino family who moved to your neighborhood? Or that homeless person standing on the street corner near your workplace? And if you really want to get personal, how about those Samaritans?
In Jesus day, there was a huge invisible wall that stood between Samaritans and Jews. The two cultures had hated each other for over a thousand years or so. Jews believed that Samaritans were half-breeds, and those who had rejected the true faith by marrying pagans. A Jew counted a Samaritan as a little less than a stray dog.
Jesus, however, broke all the rules. Jesus had reached out to a Samaritan woman at a well and shared that God was more concerned with worshipping in spirit and in truth than whose family you were born in. Jesus showed us that God loves the world…every person in the world.
That is why we read in Acts 8 that God sent Philip to preach Christ in the city of Samaria, and revival broke out. God’s hammer was tearing down walls.
But God was not through. He sent Philip on a second cross-cultural mission, and as he journeyed, his path intersected with an Ethiopian eunuch. Philip shared with him the truth of the Gospel, and the Ethiopian became a baptized follower of Christ. The walls of race were hammered to the ground, and the two became brothers in Christ.
Walls always divide us. God desires to bring down the walls and to unite us as family in Christ.
We cannot experience the life that God wants to give us unless we are willing to lay aside our bias and prejudice. Who is the Samaritan in your world? Who is the Ethiopian eunuch that God has brought across your path? Will you take God’s hammer and help Him bring down the walls?
Kentucky Baptists have always been willing to go to the airport and travel to the farthest corners of the world for the sake of the Gospel. God is asking us today; will we be just as willing to go to the airport to meet a refugee family for Christ’s sake? Would we be willing to go down the street and offer a little hospitality to the family that looks a little different from us for Jesus?
Will we be those who tear down the walls?
Interested in becoming involved with a refugee family, contact the Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief office to learn more at (502) 489-3527 or by ewmail at [email protected].