From Revd Christopher Deakin

From the Vicar

It was 30 years ago this month, on 9th November 1989 that the fall of the Berlin Wall began. Over two million people from East Berlin visited the West in a celebration described as ‘the greatest street party in the history of the world.’ However, we are still living with walls, thinking of those dividing Gaza and Palestine from Israel. It’s a strong human instinct to build walls to separate us from those we view as different and threatening.

Paul writes of how the death of Jesus has broken down the barrier between Jew and Gentile: ‘His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.’ (Ephesians 2:15-16).

Jesus is still in the business in breaking down the barriers between people of different gender, age, race and language, to bring them together in His church: ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3:28).

We can easily put up barriers with others, when we make assumptions about them, forgetting that they may be thinking the same things about us. We may want to avoid making ourselves vulnerable or appear needy. Yet Jesus can break down our defences and enable us to live openly and honestly with others. As His church, He invites us to be a community of risk takers, i.e. those who trust each other, handle our weaknesses and fears, and who encourage one another’s strengths and gifts.

‘A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.’ (Pope Francis).

With my very best wishes