The Wall is Torn Down

Today is Pentecost Sunday -- 50 days after Jesus' resurrection the Holy Spirit came powerfully upon Jesus' followers and enabled them to enact Jesus' ministry as his Body, the Church.

Over the centuries, the Church has done so much good that the entire world has been transformed by God.  But the Church, being made up of people, is also imperfect.  One of our mistakes through the generations has been to rebuild walls of division amongst human beings which God intended to be torn down.

Humanity has a great history of building walls (China, Berlin, Northern Ireland, etc.)  But most dividing walls aren't so obvious.  They are social, economic, racial, national, political, and so on.  Sometimes the "walls" be build are necessary and good, but in those cases we might usually call them "boundaries," intended for good health and not division or power.  These boundaries help us maintain justice, peace, mutual respect, healthy moral living, and more.

But when we, in our sin, rebuild walls that God intended to tear down, and we fail to be agents of Christ's unity, we effectively refuse to be part of God's reconciling mission in the world.

Ephesians 2:11-22 is Paul's masterful passage on the reconciling power of Christ.

The event at Pentecost of the Holy Spirit coming with divine power is ultimately a reconciliation event.  It undoes the division created even by language and culture.  It transcends a mere proclamation that Christ is for all by enacting that proclamation through the variety of peoples present to hear it!  In Pentecost, we see made manifest the reality that those we were once separated from Christ, without hope, in Christ we are brought in and made members God's family, even of Christ's own Body, and are therefore no longer excluded.  

- In what settings would you consider yourself an "insider?"  
- In what settings would you consider yourself and "outsider?"
- Consider whether or not you have fully appreciated the power of being an insider (perhaps by hearing the story of someone without such privilege).
- Reconciliation is not "pie in the sky."  It is an act that requires "boots on the ground" -- your boots and mine -- to make a reality.  With whom is the Holy Spirit prompting you to be reconciled, or to facilitate reconciliation?

Grace and Peace!

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