For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation…—Ephesians 2:14
Growing up, we would ask my mom every year what she wanted for Christmas. Her answer was always the same—“peace and quiet.” (She had six kids.) We would persist, “What do you really want for Christmas, something you can open Christmas morning?” But she was unwavering … “peace and quiet.”
In biblical times, the middle wall of separation referred to in Ephesians 2:14 was a physical partition that separated the Jews and the Gentiles from worshiping together in the Temple. It was a sign to all that I belong here and you belong over there.
We might not build a physical wall to separate us from others, but don’t we all have walls that keep us apart? What name is on your wall? Is it fear, pride, jealousy, unforgiveness?
One interpretation of this verse is that when the middle wall of separation was broken down it was proclaiming to those that were near and far that the war was over. At Christmas we may sometimes call a temporary ceasefire and try to be on our best behavior, but it usually doesn’t last.
Like my mom, all we really want is peace and quiet, isn’t it? An angel told the shepherds they would find a babe in the manger as a sign to all that the Savior was born. The wall of separation in the Temple was a sign to all where you belonged. Jesus’ peaceful and quiet birth broke down that wall, while the angels proclaimed that He is our peace. His love for all, the near and the far, has made us one.
This Christmas, let us all proclaim that the war is over!