On Monday, November 9th, Germans will celebrate the day the Berlin Wall was ripped down - 20 years ago. I can still remember the television images of people with sledgehammers destroying the last evidence of communist oppression.
It was euphoria in Berlin that day, and for the days following. East and West Berliners freely stepped across the space that would have meant death just days before. In fact, from the time the wall was erected in 1961 to the time it was torn down, 136 people were killed just for trying to cross over.
Can you even image waking up to discover you couldn't leave your neighborhood? That's what it was like for those residents of West Berlin, August 13, 1961 (just one week before I was born).
This past June, my son Dylan and I walked the streets of Berlin with other high school students as we learned what life was like during those difficult years. It sure makes one appreciate the ability to travel across town to watch a soccer game or visit a friend.
Finally in 1989, freedom came to the people of Berlin.
2009 is a year of celebration, culminating on Monday, November 9th. In addition to ceremonies and concerts, at some point during the day, there will be a re-creation of the knocking down of the wall using painted "dominoes." Almost 1000 8' high sections of wall have been lined up and will be knocked down in a domino effect. Each one of these dominoes was painted by groups of youth. And I'm very happy to say that one of them was created by me and my son Dylan, along with other students from Glendale, AZ high schools.
I'll be watching national news, hoping to get a glimpse of this historic ceremony. But if I don't see it, it's nice to know that I had a small part in rejoicing with my German brothers and sisters.
To learn more about the Domino Project, click here.
Here's a photo. Not of our domino, but of a group of them.
It's a day to rejoice in freedom. But in the shadow of that celebration is the reality that there are still millions of people silently suffering injustice, persecution and slavery around the world. Please join me in praying for those brothers and sisters.
Even in the depth of oppression, we can still taste freedom though Jesus Christ. No matter what the world can do to our bodies, no one can touch our spirits. Here are some promises:
John 8:36, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
John 8: 31-32, "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Romans 6:22-23, "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
1 Corinthians 2:12, "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us."
November 9th is a day to remember the freedom that came to west Berliners. And every day is a day to remember the freedom that comes from Jesus.
In His Love,