Here’s one way you know you are following Jesus: When everyone else is building walls, you are building bridges.
It makes you stand out especially now, if you are a bridge-builder, when a strong spirit of isolationism and protectionism is sweeping the country and the world. Fear is causing people to want to strengthen their walls and pull themselves further and further in.
Wake up; the world is changing. It’s not safe anymore. So? Who said it was going to be? Certainly Jesus didn’t. He prayed that we might be protected from the evil one, but He never said anything about being safe. In fact, He promised His disciples that it was going to get worse, and they were going to suffer for His sake. So I would put aside any thoughts that life is going to look anything like a Thomas Kinkade painting.
Fear is rampant. It’s the new currency. Political candidates are capitalizing on it; churches are raising money off of it. Christians are using church to hide, not to go out or to welcome in. Christians are building walls when they should be building bridges.
Fear makes you build walls; the gospel makes you build bridges — bridges to strangers, bridges to the unknown, bridges to the poor and homeless, bridges to the sick and dying, bridges to other religions, bridges to atheists, bridges to other cultures and other races, bridges to your next door neighbor, bridges to anywhere instead of staying safe inside your house.
If our calling is to be representatives of the gospel of welcome, how can we be building walls in order to sequester ourselves safely within them? Who are we going to welcome if no one can get in? And how are we going to get out if there are only walls around us?
Jesus gave us one command before he left. Only one thing He told us. He told us to go. Go into all the world. Go into all the world and make disciples. Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. That is a massive undertaking and it is entirely inconsistent with the current trend toward separation and isolation. How can you go anywhere with walls around you, and no bridges to get there?
Here’s one way you know you are following Jesus. When everyone else is building walls, you are building bridges.
I like what one of our supporters wrote me after hearing Tuesday night’s BlogTalkRadio show. “Build bridges. See what Jesus does with that bridge.”