Saturday, July 26, 2008

We're All Still Children

To be perfectly honest, I was not all too excited to start Vacation Bible School (VBS) when we kicked it off this past Monday. What bothered, or even distracted me the most was the thought that I'd be interacting with the core group of children all day And it wasn't that I feared this, I just did not see myself as the best candidate for the job. I love little children, but I feel more comfortable around them when they aren't strangers to me. Regardless of the pity excuses I could come up with, there was a great need for "crew leaders." Remembering from what I learned in Northern Ireland almost exaclty 4 years ago, is that God asks us to be flexable so He can work to His full glory. So I gave it a shot.

Every VBS has a sort of theme that stitches key verses of the Bible into the week long program under a central message. In the one I just worked with, it's called Power Lab: Discovering Jesus's Miraclous Power. As implied, the aim is to use science-like elements to serve as symbols for how Jesus empowers us to live a fulfilling and glorifing lifestyle. Each day comes with a new lesson, a new Bible buddy and a new Bible verse. See below and pick a favorite.

Fizz teaches: "Jesus gives us the power to be thankful!"
Based on the account of 10 lepers. [Luke 17:11-19]
Always be thankful. [Colossians 3:15]

Sparki teaches: "Jesus gives us the power to help others!"
Based on the account of Jesus giving sight to a blind man. [John 9:41]
When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. [Romans 12:19]

Dewd teaches: "Jesus gives us the power to be brave!"
Based on the account of Peter walking on water. [Matthew 14:22-33]
I will not be afraid for you are close beside me. [Psalms 23:4]

Max teaches: "Jesus gives us the power to live forever!"
Based on the account of Jesus's resurrection. [Luke 23:26-24:53]
Since I live, you also will live. [John 14-17]

Electra teaches: "Jesus gives us the power to tell others about God!"
Based on the Holy Spirit revealing itself at Pentecost. [Acts 2:1-47]
Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.

Now, why would I go through all that trouble relaying all this information to you, knowing that you could just go to the website and get it yourself? Because I believe that what is learned in VBS is not meant for the children alone. In fact, sometimes the "big kids" running the program get as much out of the lessons as the "little kids." Remember, we are all God's children, no matter what our ages may be, so this shouldn't be a surprise to us. [Romans 8:16-17]

Recently, I've been so tied up in myself and my situation. I've been trying so hard to please God so much that I forgot that I don't earn God's favor by works. It's Jesus, who paid the price of
my sins, that loved me first. Sometimes, I get so confused in my relationship with Jesus that I completely forget the basics. What are the basics? It's being thankful, helping others, being brave, and understanding of our eternal destiny. They are the simple joys in life. So simple that we sometimes let them fade away until we have rediscover. So this is one of the reasons God charges us to share our faith - it is to prevent our spiritual fervor from fading away. In this way, sharing and growing in our faith benefits all people involved. Isn't our Creator wonderful!

As it turns out, my biggest worry became my most valuable time spent this summer. The children we great to work with, despite their imperfections, but how wenched am I and to think that I had to teach them what I fall short of myself. Their willingness to be fascinated, discover the world God has made for them, and to quickly share a hug or smile is exactly what I wish I had in my life right now. In the spirit of
Mark 9:33-37, live the difference that a Christ follower should be in a broken and fallen world. True and honest love covers a multitude of sins.

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