Standing in front of the television, tears fell from his eyes as the wall separating east and west crumbled to the ground. His heart yearned to be with his family and friends yet this day found him miles away celebrating with his new American friends.
This scene unfolded as one of our foreign exchange students watched as the wall between East and West Germany finally crumbled to the ground. He watched with joy-filled eyes as he watched his people freely walk between each side of what was once the wall.
I remember this story well. It is a story that reminds me of the power of what it means to let people in and not keep people out. I find myself deeply yearning not to see a wall put up to keep people out. Our God calls us to welcome one another with open arms. Our God calls us to love one another and not fear one another.
In Psalm 78, we hear the words that we are to teach our children; the next generations so they will set their hope in God and remember all the good works that God has done for us. Yet oh how easily, we forget the goodness of our God. We get sidetracked and derailed by the evil one. As I read this text, my heart sank as these words so easily capture what is happening in our broken sinful world today. We forget to trust in the hope of God. We forget to share the good deeds of God that have happened and will continue to happen.
What do we want the next generations to remember and be known for? Do we want them to love our LGBTQ friends with open arms and not question who they are in this world? Do we want the world to be known for proclaiming that #BlackLivesMatter? Do we want those immigrants who have come for safety to not fear for their lives? I believe that every day God calls us to live out the words to Micah 6:8 “But what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love kindness/mercy, and walk humbly with your God?” to the best of our ability. We will indeed fail. But we are called to pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off and try again tomorrow.
God calls each and every one of us to guide with a tender upright heart just like David guided his people. As God’s people, we are also called to do our best to love and serve our neighbors and pass on faith and values from generation to generation. I am reminded of the words from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
For every time we love God’s people, the wall crumbles and another soul is able to walk freely from captivity into freedom.