Summary: Jesus has brought peace; destroying the walls between us and making his people ONE in him.
Focus: Jesus has brought peace; destroying the walls between us and making his people ONE in him.
Function: To encourage a church with the message of reconciliation in Jesus, vertically (with God) and
horizontally (with fellow mankind.
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”
That’s the way Robert Frost began his famous poem, “Mending Wall.” It’s a wonderful poem full of
humor and (I think) a sense of sadness. Its about two neighbors who go through the same ritual each
spring, meeting at the wall to repair it– to refill the gaps that fallen stones have left and repair the
damage done by hunters whose pursuit of their game has left the wall in disrepair. The neighbors have
apparently done this for many years, yet it strikes the narrator in the poem to question just why it is they
have the wall in the first place.
“And on a day we meet to walk the line
and set the wall between us once again
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
we have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers tough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows?
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall , . ..
They don’t have cows anymore that might stray onto the other’s property! Just trees. So why is the
wall there? Hasn’t the time come that its purpose no longer exists? Yet, it remains . . . why? Because
its always been there?
The truth is: its human nature to construct walls, isn’t it?
In our neighborhoods, we build our houses and then hold up inside of them rarely venturing out to get to
know our neighbors. . . . I mean really get to know them. In society in general, we construct walls.
There are the walls which 140 years (this month) after the end of slavery in America still divides black
and white. There are walls which divide gender- men and women; there are walls of social status- the
divide of affluent and the poor. Walls are all around us! And for many- perhaps they help us feel
comfortable, protected, unchallenged. I’m convinced that’s how it was for 1st century Gentiles– to
whom Paul is writing his letter of Ephesians to! We see in this text that was just read this divide
between Jew & Gentile!
Ephesians is about the church. Paul is writing it to the church at Ephesus to be circulated among other
area churches to show them how to be the church! He will concentrate later on- on some of the moral
implications of being in Christ. He has emphasized the blessings that are found in Christ, the power that
is found in Christ; & he has reminded these Christians from whence they came– “you were dead in your
sin.” But ALL of THIS has been to show the church how to be the church! God is about building His
church! But, as any good construction worker can tell you, before you can build . . . some things have to
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who
call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- 12 remember that at that time
you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise,
without hope and without God in the world. (NIV)
I. Paul starts out this passage by saying, “Remember the WALL!”
Remember Paul is talking to Gentiles, here. . . (like us) “Uncircumcised” was a typical & disrespectful
term used by the Jews (“The Chosen”) to describe the Gentiles. They were heathens . . . clearly NOT
the people of God! It would be hard to adequately describe for you in today’s terms the disdain that
Jews had for Gentiles (& vice versa- no doubt). As wide as the divide has been between whites & blacks