As I write my Last Word this week, we are hours away from the third night of Vacation Bible School. In order to accommodate the many young families with working parents (and children in summer programs), we moved our VBS to the evening this year and have had wonderful response. Not only do we have around 50 kids participating, but many adults who haven’t been able to join us in the past are helping and having a great time. Melissa Moody, our VBS leader, told me we have nearly as many volunteers as kids!
Once again I am serving as the designated storyteller. It is my job to take the Bible story for the day and make it come alive in the imaginations of our kids. That is easier said than done – especially with a gang of three and four year olds! However, with a little imagination, almost anything is possible.
On the first night, the kids wrapped themselves in cloaks, grabbed their walking sticks, and took their unleavened bread (crackers!) on a dangerous journey. We needed to move quickly, because Pharaoh’s army was right behind us as we made our way into the wilderness. Suddenly, we found ourselves trapped between Pharaoh’s army on one side and the Red Sea on the other.
Fortunately, we prayed and God opened the Red Sea (the aisle down the center of the sanctuary) and we were able to walk on dry ground with the sea piled up on both sides of us (the pews!). Once we were sure Pharaoh’s army hadn’t made it too, we sat down and had our unleavened bread.
Food has played an important role in this year’s VBS. For Monday night’s story, the sanctuary was no longer the Red Sea, but row after row of Israelite fields and gardens – ripe for the harvest. We learned about the great Israelite festivals, collected the harvest, and made offerings of our first fruits to God. It has been a busy week already and we aren’t even halfway finished!
This Sunday, you are also called to gather in God’s church and, like the kids who have been hearing the Biblical story all week, imagine how God can be a more central part of your life. July 4th is coming up quickly too, so we’ll be sure to sing some patriotic hymns and reflect on our nation’s history and give thanks for the freedom and bounty we enjoy here.
I look forward to joining for worship this Sunday and throughout the summer.