For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. (Eph. 2:14)
THE CHURCH IN RWANDA faced a massive rebuilding task after the 1994 genocide there. Many Rwandans had chosen to elevate their tribal backgrounds as a barrier to divide them from others in their nation. Sadly, many Christians were among them. Churches were frequently the sites of slaughter, not safe havens. Yet at the same time, even at the height of the conflict, Christians reached across tribal lines to protect each other at great risk to themselves. After the civil strife had formally ended, Christian leaders challenged believers who had suffered loss and injury at the hands of other believers to forgive rather than to seek vengeance. The character of Christ emerged intact from the tragedy. Healing came gradually, but it did come as people intentionally tore down the barriers between them—and the church became the center of reconciliation again.
Reconciliation in Christ has been the high calling of Christians since the church began. While it has always been a challenge to break down tribal, ethnic, economic, and social barriers that often define the relationships between groups of people, Paul made it clear that the common ground Christians find in Jesus Christ overcomes every barrier between us. The Lord himself is our ultimate reconciler.
When we give Jesus His place as Lord over us, our unity in Christ far surpasses the barriers of our prejudice.
If there is a barrier between you and another Christian, do something to remove it.
Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves preaching, teaching, music, coffee, and Nebraska football.