Thank God for VBS

Thank God for VBS July 19, 2007

It’s that time of year again . . . you know, Vacation Bible School!

If you are a church member you face this part of the summer suppressing memories of macaroni necklaces and crosses made out of toothpicks and Elmer’s glue.

If you are the pastor, you work very hard to be supportive in every way excluding the creation of macaroni necklaces, and then you get busy doing everything you can to avoid recreation time (playing soccer in the gym).

If you are a VBS teacher, you stumble home every night wondering why the heck you signed up for this in the first place, and sampling the bath salts recipe so you can go back the next day and tell the kids, “Yes! I DID use the bath salts we made!”

If you are a Calvary kid, well, (and I know this because I live with three of them) you breathlessly report the events of the day (“Hey Mom! Did you know that male seahorses have babies? It’s true! We learned it in Bible School! (?????!?!????!)) and you anxiously plan for the next day of adventures.

I have to say, if my perspective is accurate, Vacation Bible School these days rocks compared to my experience, which, in addition to macaroni necklaces, also included red Kool Aid and felt boards. My kids, in fact, LOVE VBS and can’t wait for the next adventure they’ll encounter.

As the pastor (and as a parent, of course) this brings me quite a substantial amount of joy. It means our staff is doing its work; our laity is participating; our kids are benefiting.

But the best part of all . . . the best part, hands down . . . is (not the fact that I am not responsible for snack time—though that is something to certainly celebrate) walking past the bathroom tonight after my harried attempts to herd said children into the shower and hearing as I walk by, a very clear, high voice singing through the water: “I will hold the Christlight for you, In the night-time of your fear, I will hold my hand out to you, Speak the peace you long to hear . . . “.

Tears.

Tears, I tell you, spring to my eyes.

I don’t know. Maybe they think they’re parroting a catchy tune they learned in a fun music session?

But I know better.

I know they are imprinting words on their memories that will linger with them all their lives. And I know, for this one moment, even in the shower, that my little guy is articulating a truth I believe with my whole life: that God comes to us in community, and that Christian community is a safe place to wander back to.

After all my macaroni necklace trauma I must confess I never thought I’d say this, but today I find myself thinking: “Thank God for VBS!”

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  • meg

    Thanks for your words. I’m VBS-ing right now. They gave me Sunday off so that I could tell the stories to the kids during the week. Kids are sponges and so much easier to amuse. Great trade as far as I’m concerned.

  • meg

    Thanks for your words. I’m VBS-ing right now. They gave me Sunday off so that I could tell the stories to the kids during the week. Kids are sponges and so much easier to amuse. Great trade as far as I’m concerned.