Posted by Murray Smith

“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

By now your 2016 December holiday break is but a distant memory.

The thing about holidays is that they don’t come around often enough.

They relax you for a while but then soon reality strikes with vengeance.

It’s true our much needed holidays are wonderful, but sadly they don’t deal with some of our major systemic challenges. You see you could have been in the Bahamas in your December break on a wonderful package deal trip to die for, but returned to the same lack of peace on your homecoming. Why do we so often lack peace? I believe that it’s because part of the daily baggage we pack up and carry around with us, unwittingly included in those holiday breaks, is unresolved relational tension and struggle. The relational struggle Paul was referring to in the above text, was an ancient one between the Jews and Gentiles. It had an ugly long history of hostility. So much so that the Jews had built a low wall, some distance from the Temple, called the Soreg, which very clearly defined for the Gentiles (all non Jews), that to cross this barrier would result in death. Sad isn’t it that the place of worship of the one true God resulted in such hostility. South Africa has a long hostile history of racial division which has hindered our development as a nation.

The Good News is that Jesus is the great barrier breaker. He specializes in taking down walls of hostility. He does it by choosing the pathway of peace. He is the peacemaker. What He did for the Jews and Gentiles 2000 years ago is what he will do for you today and for us as a nation tomorrow. No wall is too big. No history too hostile. He did it by not choosing retaliation or vengeance, but through the powerful sacrificial work of the cross, he brought two strongly opposing sides together. He will do the same for you as you choose His way, the same for our country as we choose the pathway of peace. Jesus taught us how to lay down our stones of superiority, pride, prejudice, revenge and disengagement. Which one are you laying down?

Prayer: Father, I acknowledge today my own pride and prejudice which has led to the building of walls of hostility. Lead me today in your way, the way of peacemaking.