Every Tribe, Every Nation at Camp

We built a wall of people in the Chapel at Templed Hills (church camp).  The wall was made of young men and women, girls and boys, of different ethnicities, cultural backgrounds and languages.  The wall is  a visual example of the Kingdom that God is building, founded on the apostles and prophets, with the Messiah as chief cornerstone.  Why did we build this wall? Culture clash or culture shock.  What do I mean by this?  I have experienced clashing cultures myself many times, especially in Russia, where I cut my international teeth so to speak.  (See post “What is Culture Shock” immediately below.)

So, what does this have to do with building a wall of people?  Well, at Templed Hills last week, we had a group of Crow children come to camp.  These kids left their home culture, and got plopped down into a camp where they were a minority group amidst mostly white kids who didn’t have the same values, who sang songs the Crow kids didn’t know, who think more individually rather than communally.  This was intimidating.  So, they banded up with eachother as people do in a foreign culture.  Natural.  Only the other children didn’t know why.  They didn’t get why the Crow children didn’t want to sing these songs, or clap to the music.  Being from the majority, they didn’t see why the minority felt out of place.  If you have never been a minority, it is hard to understand why they don’t feel comfortable in your culture.  Jesus understands.  He emptied himself of his divine qualities to become a man.  Talk about culture shock! He was a Jew among Gentiles.  He totally understands why Crow kids don’t feel comfortable amoungst a bunch of white kids.  Jesus welcomes them, to places of honor in his Kingdom.  He builds his Kingdom of people from every tribe, tongue and nation.  They are all welcome, all blessed in Jesus.  So we built a wall of people, to remind ourselves that God’s Kingdom looks different than our hometown, and that is a glorious thing.

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