Daily Devotionals

No Fences

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Scripture:  “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another.” – John 13:34 (NRSV)


What would happen if we took down every fence in the world? Goats, cows, and pigs would run wild. We would not have to wonder who is talking in our neighbor’s backyard.

How about borders between counties? Would the North and South Koreans get to hug each other again? In Belfast there is a 20-foot-high wall (fence) separating Catholics and Protestants. Can’t we take it down?

It has been said the best friendships are over the backyard fence. But we build fences to keep folks out or to block the view of something our neighbor is doing that offends us. Now, I confess that our own backyard has cyclone fences on three sides. And when our children bring their dogs, I put up a fourth fence to keep “Sister” and “Ridley” in.

But I do not like fences. Fences separate. Jesus taught us to be together. “Love each other” was the last and greatest commandment. 

We started with one “fence.” In Genesis 2:17, God tells Adam and Eve, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.” Then God gave us 10. Then, by some counts, the Jews had 613. Jesus got us back to two and then one.

Love one another. 

Do not build a fence between you and your neighbor. At least not the ones that separate us. Holding in sheep might be OK.

Prayer: Dear God, please help us love each other and not build fences. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

Submitted by John Hart