Walls do more than divide us from one another. They can make us sick – literally. Years after the Berlin Wall was erected dividing West and East Germany, East German psychiatrists observed a sobering phenomenon. In the neighborhoods closest in proximity to the wall, there were escalating cases of mental illness, rage, dejection, panic attacks, and depression. The closer to the wall that people lived, the more acute the disorders. I was a freshman in college and vividly remember where I was when I learned of the wall being torn down. Thousands of Germans from both sides of the wall climbed on top of the concrete and proceeded to hammer away at the wall in sheer jubilation. By the early 90’s, German psychiatrists took note of an emotional liberation and decline in mental illnesses among the people who had once lived in such close proximity to the wall.
Walls do strange things to us. We erect them thinking they will enhance or protect our lives when, in many cases, they only increase anxiety, fear, suspicion, and alienation. I’m thankful for Jesus, who came to tear down walls of all kinds – walls we erect between God and us, between one another, and between what is and what should be.
It’s been two weeks since Easter. Two weeks, perhaps, since we felt the tug of renewed commitment in our hearts. I hope and pray the demolition of some walls is underway in all of our lives – particularly any walls between what we say we believe and how we are actually living.
In light of that, we kicked off “James: A Faith That Works” this past weekend. If you missed the opening message on James 1:1-12, check it out online! We’ll be diving intoJames 1:13-25 this weekend in a message I’m calling “Dangerous Intersections.” Bring your Bible, an open heart, and a friend.
Grace and Peace!
See You This Weekend!
Posted on Fri, May 2, 2014
by Chris Seidman