On May 22, 2011, it is likely that every American Christian heard within hours that an F-5 tornado had ripped its way through Joplin, MO. Almost as quickly as the news spread, crews were in place to bring aid to the victims of this disaster. In some locations, not a wall was left standing. Many lives were lost and many more were injured. Everyone who has seen the devastation is amazed that more people were not lost in the storm.
Countless walls came down in just a very short time. Some, who knew the landscape well, could not find their way around the ravaged area of town. But, there is one wall that disappeared just as quickly. Fewer news reports have recognized its significance. This wall is the one that divides us. It is the religious barrier that prevents us from working together for the glory of God. It is the wall that separates us based upon race, creed or doctrine.
Countless crews of Christians from all denominations worked alongside one another, fed one another, travelled together & prayed together for one purpose. What the restoration movement has yet to see fulfilled doctrinally, was achieved in service and in love without one sermon or class, but through God working in the hearts of His people everywhere.
Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17, that those of us who believe in Him through the apostles’ message would be one. Through this, the world would see the oneness and believe that the Father had sent Him to us. I can truly say that for me personally, I witnessed that happening to a degree that I have never witnessed before. As workers from one organization were sorting debris, another was bringing sandwiches or drinks, while yet another was packing a house next door. Church vans from multiple denominations were lined up side by side outside a single church facility awaiting direction for service.
I will forever remember the destruction of walls in Joplin, but the one wall that was gone will continue to give me hope for what can be, when God’s people come together. I know Jesus was watching, as the Father answered His prayer.
- brad on About Parkview
- Shannon on About Parkview
- Mark Stephenson on The Walls Came Down
- carl davis on How do “we” make decisions, but still allow God to be in control?
- carl davis on Jesus