Written by: Reverend Walter Wietzke
The Love of Christ Compels Us
(cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-20)
On Wednesday, January 18, Catholics, Lutherans and Pentecostals came to worship and address Christian Unity Week with “bricks” representing the oppression of the Berlin Wall. Each brick symbolizing the attitude and drive that separate us: hate and contempt, discrimination, pride, broken communion…
A personal note: my cousins from Old East Germany had a different view from the “Wall’s oppression.” They were taught the Wall was to protect from drugs, pornography, and violence… In 1984, we were supposed to be enemies, but we were family. We discussed how a wall may well provide protection and identity (“Good fences make good neighbors” Robert Frost). Walls themselves may not discern the good of free assembly, free speech and the difference between “drugs” and “Hostien” – Holy Communion Wafers! The light of conversation inspired the Will for Reconciliation.
Indeed, we worshiped during a week, which began with the Commemoration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and ended with the Inauguration of President Donald Trump – and we are very mindful of the “bricks of separation” representing racism and ethnic, economic, political division and polarization. Yet, right smack dab in the middle of the week – our Faith Community gathered and Willed for Reconciliation, as we “deconstruct this wall of bricks” and Re-form it into the Cross, which actually lightens our darkness and shines as the Witness of Jesus the Savior of and for the world.
We take our cue from Abraham Lincoln, who recited the Words of Saint Paul through the Love of Christ: “May God change us from enemies into friends.” 2 Corinthians 5:19