When the Midlothian Campus was built, the Building Committee designed the space in the front of the Worship Center to mount a tapestry that would incorporate a cross that would clearly declare to all that we were followers of Jesus Christ and that our lives are lived in the shadow of the cross. Unfortunately, the budget did not allow the commissioning of the tapestry….and as time went on, the idea of a tapestry faded.
In 2009 a committee was formed to decide on what could be placed in the front of the Worship Center….and about the same time, an anonymous donation was made to the church to be used wherever it was needed. The committee unanimously decided on a cross – but felt that we needed something alive and different. Much research was done and ideas presented. But one design stood out from all the rest….an original piece of art drawn by our member, Lindsay Durrette. In Lindsay’s own words, ‘I wanted something alive and wild because that’s the way I feel about Jesus. He’s not stagnant. He moves in such surprising ways that I wanted to communicate that in some way. The lines are curvy because I was imitating the way that God makes things grow, move and change. “
The committee was then charged to find someone who could construct the design to be the main focal point of our Worship Center. Jason Watts was asked to be that person. He is part of Cox Associates, the architectural firm that designed our beautiful campus in Midlothian, and has done beautiful woodworking through Watts Guitars ….using his many gifted talents in working with wood from around the world for all his projects. His main thought in constructing the cross was that it was not to be “stagnant”… ‘it was to encompass the personalities, individualities and make-up of the church….it was to be the foundation of the church here in the community and around the world’
The solid cross speaks to us of the strong, never changing truth that Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation because He died for our sins upon the cross. The flowing ribbons remind us of the fact that the Christian Faith is never static but flowing through our lives and through the church. Like a river it flows and rolls on through life, its truth never changing but its followers always maturing and growing as we follow Him. The flowing ribbons also extend out beyond the edge of the cross itself just as God’s people are beyond our borders and boundaries. The different types and colors of wood are from around the world and remind us that the followers of Jesus have different colors of skin, speak different languages, dress differently, but are all part of the family of Jesus. Jason wanted to share that with us by using the following woods:
• Blood wood (Muninga)-found in Angola, Botswana, Congo, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
• Purpleheart-found in Central America, and northern South America
• Brazilian Cherry-found in Brazil
• Hard Maple-found in Canada and USA (variations in Europe, UK, Turkey, Japan, and western Asia)
• American Black Walnut-found in Canada and USA (variations in Europe, Turkey, Australia, and south-west Asia)
• Sapele (sapele mahogany)-found in west, central, and east Africa
Through the Holy Spirit, God seeks to extend His kingdom to the ends of the earth by sending us forth as a missional people. No matter what color we are, where we live, what language we speak….He loves us all if we just believe in Him!
[Note: Originally published in the Crestwood Chronicle December 2011.]