FOR twenty-eight years only the police were allowed in this area. It was a no-man's-land with a foreboding concrete wall on the west side and barricades on the east and the historic Brandenburg Gate in the center. Recently I stood here surrounded by a swirling mass of people from all over the world wanting to share in this momentous occasion. It was Christmas, a Christmas fraught with special meaning. I watched East Germans being waved through the checkpoints by friendly police and being welcomed with open arms on the other side, and West Germans streaming through the opening in the wall to see the other part of their own city or to visit friends. Nearby were an East German and a West German car, parked side by side. You would have had to be present to feel fully the vitality in the air.
Punctuating all of the jubilant voices was the constant clank, clank, clank, of hammers chipping away at the wall, as hundreds of souvenir hunters tried to break off a piece of the wall on the Western side.
As I stood there, the constant hammering at the wall ringing in my ears, I couldn't help thinking of the many other walls that need breaking down, walls not as visible but just as confining. The Berlin wall is symbolic of the total bankruptcy of materialism. How suddenly it can crumble away! But one look at society shows the stranglehold materialism still has on mankind's thinking. This one breakthrough -- wonderful as it is -- is just the beginning of what is needed to free mankind from the sin that continues to seem attractive, from the disease and suffering that still appear so inevitable. What a challenge it is to help mankind see that these evils are not the irreversible reality they seem to be. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being.'' But we need not remain in bondage to these restrictions, for, as Mrs. Eddy also points out: ``Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free.''1
A blow for freedom has been struck in Berlin, but with it comes the need for continued prayer to break down the walls of materiality that would hem us in. True freedom is anchored in divine Principle, God. It is inseparable from divine law. Freedom is not a human invention but comes from God. This is why Christ Jesus' healing ministry continues to have such urgent significance today. Through complete reliance on God he made plain man's inherent dominion over and freedom from the material restrictions of sin, disease, and death. When we are conscious of our sonship with God, we can no more be deprived of freedom than we can be separated from God. Freedom is always found in God, and that includes the freedom to be what God has created us to be as well as the freedom from materialism.
The joy, freedom, and love I sensed around me that Christmas Day are all reminders of God's presence. They're a token of how much more we can accomplish when we vigorously and consistently rely on the power of God, divine Love. The Psalmist reminds us of this when he speaks of God's power and love for us in these words, which have meant so much to me: ``God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy.''2
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 227. 2Psalms 62:11, 12.