Knocking Down Walls
In today’s Old Testament Reading from 2 Kings (Chapter 25) we read about the fall of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was THE home of temple worship and when the city was breached and its walls came down, the people ended up in exile in Babylon, it affected the way they worshiped for generations.
How do you worship without your central place of worship? In exile, they had to figure out how to worship differently.
But today I want to talk about walls. Specifically, the silos that we create—or at least allow to exist—in our churches.
Churches are not immune to establishing walls, not at all. While we may not put up physical walls, it is easy to create territorial walls founded on the ideology that the work I do, or the group I belong to, or the way I think things should be done, is more important than the mission of the church at large.
My intention is not to be negative, but unless we recognize our weakness, we will not address it.
As individual disciples, we must avoid the temptation to self-importance, position and power in service of the gospel. If we get too wrapped up in our work, we will forget that it is only ours by design. Whatever we accomplish is managed through the Holy Spirit and is of no greater importance than the work our brothers and sisters are doing, according to what they have been given.
Like a puzzle, our pieces all fit together to build a beautiful image of the Body of Christ.
But that doesn’t happen if we are fraught with conflicts. If we allow our petty jealousies and possessive mindset to spread like an infection through a parish, great harm is done.
No matter what your responsibility in your church is, be sure to keep at the forefront of your work an image of Jesus, the larger church and her mission.
Commit yourself to being a servant, moving with the Holy Spirit and submitting yourself to the greater good, even if that means letting go of your personal attachment to a specific idea, plan or desire.
By doing so, together we will be able to build up our churches so others will want to come in, rather than maintaining our walls and keeping people out.