by Jim Hart, Director of Christian Education & Campus Pastor
On a daily basis, we walk a cultural, social, and theological field of land mines. Not the instantly explosive, flash-bang type that make the ground quake miles away, but the slow-to-ignite and much quieter kind. The kind you unknowingly trigger, then hear the quiet explosion as you walk away – the kind of explosion that reminds me of that one dud firecracker as a kid.
“Can you believe he said that?”
“I wish he would take that hat off in Chapel.”
“He needs to have better control over Chapel. The kids should be more reverent.”
“Chapel needs to be more fun, less formal, not so reverent.”
Loving people with different stories.
Like the threads woven tightly together to make the tapestries in our weaving room, Crossnore has cottage parents, staff, and supporters from all over the world. Our different cultural, social experiences, and faith threads are woven together to create a rich environment to work and to live. It is this tightly woven tapestry of Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Non-Denominational, Methodist, Pentecostal, and non-believers that we must navigate on a daily basis – each of us living into a spiritually, culturally, and racially diverse community, learning what it looks like and feels like to love someone with differing stories and beliefs. Even in writing this, I can hear the quiet explosion in the background. “He forgot my denomination in that list.”
Sorry, I did not mean to.
Despite the differences we sometimes wear on our sleeves, despite difficult growth and change, Crossnore simply works! It works because we each navigate those theological and emotional fields for one common good: the children we serve.
Bring the children.
In the Gospel of Mark, it is written, “And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it all.’ And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.”
Scripture does not offer us the names of the people bringing the children to Jesus. Most likely, they were folks just like you and me – people from varied backgrounds with varied experiences and beliefs, peasants and farmers, fisherman and tax collectors, both Israelites and Gentiles. They stepped on the theological and cultural land mines of their day and brought children to sit at the feet of Jesus. Children who were considered less than a person. Children who had no status and were considered not worthy of the grace, peace, hope, and healing offered by Jesus. Children who were considered nothing more than property.
Today, I pray we follow the lead of those peasants and farmers, fisherman and tax collectors, both Israelites and Gentiles as we bring the children of Crossnore to the feet of Christ, and I pray we step on every theological, cultural, and social land mine along way.
For more information about our spiritual life program, please contact Jim Hart at (828) 733-4305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.