It was 30 years ago today that President Ronald Reagan gave a speech that perhaps, contained his most memorable quote as President of the United States. While speaking in West Berlin, President Reagan said to the Soviet leader, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Of course, the wall to which he was referring was the “Berlin Wall” that divided communist East Berlin from democratic West Berlin. As history records it, two years after this speech, the Berlin Wall was torn down and the people of East and West Berlin were finally united after a 28-year-long separation.
Whatever your feelings are toward the presidency of Ronald Reagan, his call to “tear down this wall” begs to be allegorized. While the Berlin wall was torn down, there remains many walls, yet standing, which also need to be torn down.
- Are you separated from a friend or family member because you refuse to accept an apology they offered? Tear down this wall!
- Is your relationship strained with someone because he/she attempted to correct you in a spirit of brotherly love? Tear down this wall!
- Do you privately or publicly have an adversarial position toward the bishops in your congregation because of a decision they made, or a direction they chose? Tear down this wall!
- Are you tempted to marginalize certain truths because they stand in opposition to the way you live or believe? Tear down this wall!
- Are you ever envious of the success of neighboring congregations or fellow preachers? Tear down this wall!
- Do you have prejudice towards people who are different from you in a multiplicity of ways (e.g. race, education, wealth, status, clothing, etc.)? Tear down this wall!
- Do you have any sins of which you haven’t repented and which continue to separate you from God? Tear down this wall!
You see, there’s still work to be done; There are walls still standing that need to be torn down. While there is a time to build, the wise man said there is also a time to break down (Ecclesiastes 3:3). Accept the challenge, and “tear down this wall!”