Why building walls is never the answer

People build a wall with boxes during the service
People build a wall with boxes during the service
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IT truly is amazing just how high you can build a wall simply by using cardboard boxes.

Recently, members of the churches from all denominations in Waterlooville town centre spent some time worshipping together.

There were people from Waterlooville Baptist Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and St George’s Parish Church, which is where the service was actually held.

This was done to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is an annual week kept by churches, not just in this country but in many countries around the world.

Each year the service is planned by Christians from different parts of the world, and this year it was the turn of Germany.

The service encouraged people to think about things that cause division – such as failure to love, false accusations, prejudices, discrimination, intolerance of others and pride.

All of these are contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the service invited people to say sorry, and seek forgiveness for their sins.

Each time a sin was read out, cardboard boxes were taken and gradually a high wall was built right through the centre of the church congregation.

This demonstrated very clearly to people just how easily a wall can divide people, and for a few minutes it felt very uncomfortable as people’s thoughts turned to the old Berlin Wall in Germany, and the wall between Israel and Palestine today.

Walls are not the answer to threats – they serve no purpose but to divide people.

The answer lies within Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament; a response of compassion, understanding and love.

Later on in the service, a sign of peace was passed around the congregation while the wall that stood between them was gradually demolished.

Unity among Christians is really important – indeed, to stand together with the whole world is vital in keeping the aforementioned values close to our hearts.

It was excellent to experience three quite different churches worshipping together and enjoying tea together.

It’s sad that this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity happens only annually, but it does provide a foundation for Christians of all persuasions to think more about what unites them as one.

Maybe services like this can provide hope for the future – not just for the Church but for all humankind.