Friday, February 19, 2016


Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

They were both still damp. Their shoes were still squishy and water would drip out when they stepped down. "Are you the priest?" 
 "Yes." I replied. 
 "We need help." they said.  "Tell me what you need."

A story poured out. A few hours earlier four people had crossed a river.  These two brothers, their niece, and their 75 year old grandmother.  They'ed sold their home, given the cash to smugglers, been abandoned in an overgrown lot, after they crossed the river, and shortly later, their niece and grandmother had been picked up by the Border Patrol.

"Why in the world were you bringing your grandmother?" I asked. 
Weeping, they explained,  "She has cancer, and everyone knows  that in the United States, the doctors have the power and medicine to heal cancer."  
My heart sank. "Who told you that?"  
"The man who put us in touch with the people who were going to help us come to the US." they answered. 

I have lived and been a pastor in two border communities in South Texas for 17 years. Every time I hear someone talking about a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, I cringe.  

In Jerusalem there was a wall. Not the city wall, but a wall that separated the Temple. Chiseled into the stone were warnings that any non Jew caught crossing the wall would be killed. 

When Paul writes to his church in Ephesus about Jesus breaking down the dividing wall, he cannot help but think of that wall, whose entry way he himself had once sought to protect even to the point of  killing. In fact he himself was almost killed when he passed through the wall and his enemies thought he was smuggling in a non Jew.  (See Acts 21:27ff)

Bu in Christ there is another way.   - Tomorrow, more of the story. -

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