Twenty-nine years ago, on November 9, 1989, a most extraordinary thing happened. The Berlin Wall came down in the revolution that was sweeping communist Eastern Europe. A city and a nation were no longer divided.
Did you know that it took our government totally by surprise? Did you know that when the dismantling of the wall began some responsible people in our military thought it was a trick by communist forces and that tanks would come pouring through the breach in this dividing line between East and West? Did you know that our military was on alert for a possible military attack from communist forces – thus possibly setting off World War III?
One soldier who was on the scene says that when the commander of his division realized that it was not a trick – that the wall was really coming down – he broke down and wept. For half a century the United States and the Soviet Union had been engaged in a resource-depleting and fear-inspiring Cold War. Suddenly it was over. What an amazing event!
This was a minor historical footnote compared to what happened in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. The walls between God and humanity, between Jews and Gentiles, between rich and poor, between black and white, brown and yellow, between heaven and earth came tumbling down when Jesus was born in a stable.
Isaiah, the Advent Prophet speaks for the Lord to us today, “I am the LORD your God, who grasp your right hand. It is I who say to you, ‘Fear not,’ I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13-20).
What wall, what barrier due to your fears,
Is the Lord asking you to take down this Advent Thursday?