Barriers: What Separates You from God?
by Michael Boggs’
What Would Jesus Undo?
When I asked friends, family, strangers, Christians, non-Christians, senior adults, kids, and just about everybody in between, I found that everyone has an opinion on what Jesus would undo. Everyone has an answer.
One of my favorite responses came from a young man I got to know at the gym. He was a successful business owner who was skeptical about the whole Christian thing. After months of deliberation, however, he had given his life to Christ and was trying hard to follow Jesus.
One day at lunch I asked him, “What do you think Jesus would undo?
He took the wrapper off his straw, put it into his Coke, and took a sip, then spoke these words loudly enough for the whole restaurant to hear: “I think Jesus would undo all the walls we [Christians] build. You know, the walls that keep us in and keep others [non-Christians] out. He would undo the walls we build inside our churches to separate one Christian from another. Jesus would undo walls.”
Once I started thinking about it, walls seemed to be everywhere in our world. We have walls in our nation, in our churches, in our homes, in our relationships, and even in our own hearts.
Those wicked walls need to come down. I believe Jesus wants to undo any wall that separates God from the people he loves. I also believe he wants us to join him in the “undoing” process.
Honestly, church people create many walls. I don’t claim that I have identified them all, but I’ve had too many discussions with folks who are hurt, tired, empty, and jaded. It tells me that real barriers exist and need to come down if we wish to reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
As I was contemplating our life-constricting, faith-limiting walls, I began to ponder some of the famous walls around the world. One of the most interesting to me was the Berlin Wall. In 1961, the Communist government began to construct a wall that would separate East and West Berlin. Roads were blocked. Underground railways were barricaded and eventually rerouted so that few people could pass from one sector to the other. The German Democratic Republic made it impossible to get from one side to the other without jumping through a million hoops.
Some people thought a wall like that would never come down. But on November 9, 1989, the East German Communist Party announced that the wall that had separated the two Germanies for almost forty years would be destroyed. Excitement swept both halves of the city. Celebrations erupted. Soon people flooded the streets with hammers and pickaxes and began chipping away at the wall that for so long had kept them from seeing what life was like on the other side.
I can’t help but think that we should take a hammer to the unnecessary walls in our churches and in our lives too. It’s time for us to start breaking through some of those barriers that we thought would never come down. We just might find that life on the other side of that wall is better than anything we could imagine.
My friend was right at lunch that day. Jesus would undo walls. Now, let the undoing begin.
(Excerpt from Michael Boggs’ new book, What Would Jesus Undo?, Chapter 1: Walls)
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