Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Power of the People

I was just in Germany for two weeks. On November 9, Germany celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Berlin wall coming down. Since 1961, citizens of East Germany (the German Democratic Republic) were not able to leave the country without a visa and passport. They couldn't even visit West Berlin where many of them had family members. They were basically held captive by their government. After many months of demonstrations and protests, the government gave in on November 9, 1989, and the people were free to go where they pleased.

Back in 1989, I remember watching images on TV of people dancing on top of the wall where there used to be snipers, ready to shoot. They walked across borders that arbitrarily cut a city in half, and they hugged complete strangers in the street. They were celebrating a freedom they hadn't known in 28 years.
And it was all peaceful. No violence, no weapons, no destruction of property. More and more people gathered in the streets until the forces of state, police and border patrol could no longer resist.
Every time I read or see something about this I am deeply moved: People have power. Peaceful demonstrations have impact. Good always wins over evil. But it takes time.
As Christians, we are called to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). As Christians, we are free from the powers of this world. Jesus protested the Roman government and the religious rule of his time. Jesus spoke up and acted up against injustice and discrimination.
He's the one I choose to follow.
Let's be faithful to him, and be brave!