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In the wake of the most recent shuttle disaster, I spent some time reflecting
about the day Dad called us all into the Living Room to watch history in
the making. All Neil Armstrong did was take a small step, but Dad was right,
it was history-it was a "giant leap for mankind." He'd crossed a barrier-a
wall if you will, that changed the world.
Since that night, I've always been keenly aware when I was watching
history unfold. There was the brisk fall evening in 1988 with Kirk Gibson
hobbled up to the plate in the World Series. His bat had propelled the
Dodgers into the Series against the A's, but it didn't look like he'd be
able to help them now, with him being gimpy and all. But in a gutsy move,
Lasorda sent him to the plate with the game on the line. Gibson knocked
one out of the park and hobbled around the bases to lead his team to victory
that day and provided a spark to his team to take the series. Who'd of
thought that knocking a ball over a wall would have that kind of impact?
One of my favorite history moments on TV happened the year before. President
Ronald Reagan stood beside the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany
on June 12, 1987 and said, "Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open
this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" And before you know it,
the wall came down, and when it did, the world changed forever. I like
this moment the best for a couple of reasons. One, because of the impact
those few words-tear down this wall-had on human history. It reminds me
that what we say really can make a difference. But another reason I like
it is because, in my mind, it underscores Paul's words in Ephesians 2:14,
when he wrote: "For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into
one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall," (NASB) Jesus tore
down the wall that separated the Jews from the Gentiles, and that definitely
made it possible for all people everywhere to get along.
Our real heroes aren't the ones that build the walls-they are the ones
that scale them, or better yet, tear them down. So why is it that it is
so easy to let my prejudices build an artificial wall between me and people
who are different than me?
Read the sermon
that corresponds to this devotional.