I have sort of an ongoing conflict with walls.
They are important. On a cold winters day, they help protect me from the elements and keep me warm and safe. Then there are those metaphorical walls that keep us safe from unhealthy relationships and situations. Walls are a good thing.
Then there are walls that are not so much a “good thing.” Walls that divide and separate, walls that isolate. Often these walls are understood as a good thing, but in fact, limit us and others in unhealthy ways.
There is a song from my youth that speaks to this. It might be considered by some to be a tad angsty, but I still think it has much to say. The song is entitled “The Wall” by Kansas. The lyrics are as follows.
I’m woven in a fantasy,
I can’t believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day I feel a little more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me,
A dark and silent barrier between,
All I am, and all that I would ever want to be
It’s just a travesty,
Towering, marking off the boundaries my spirit would erase
To pass beyond is what I seek,
I fear that I may be too weak
And those are few who’ve seen it through to glimpse the other side,
The promised land is waiting like a maiden that is soon to be a bride
The moment is a masterpiece,
The weight of indecision’s in the air
The symbol and the sum of all that’s me
It’s just a travesty,
Towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see
Gold and diamonds cast a spell,
It’s not for me, I know it well
The riches that I seek are waiting on the other side
There’s more than I can measure in the treasures of the love that I can find
And though it’s always been with me,
I must tear down the wall and let it be
All I am, and all that I was ever meant to be,
Shining true and smiling back at all who wait to cross
There is no loss
Throughout scripture walls are seen as both good and bad, the key often is why they are there. Sometimes they are there to keep safe, other times they seek to limit God. Death had been the biggest wall of all. It seemed to define everything, and there was no safety in it. But then came Christ, the cross and the empty tomb that punched a hole in that wall. No longer would our limitations, fear and sin keep us from God, God is loose in the world in the body of Christ, building up things that bring life and taking down those things that limit it.
Our scripture reading from Mark 12:1-12 has these words just toward the end of a highly disturbing passage.
Have you not read this scripture:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;[a]
11 this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?”
The cornerstone, or as some translate it keystone, are crucial to building. Here these walls are built with Christ at the center, and we seek to build so that others may have life even in the midst of the storms of life and that life is amazing in our eyes!