” 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children[a] among you.”
1 Thessalonians 2: 6-7a
Vacation. That is a word we hear frequently this time of year. Families are planning and taking vacations. Co-workers are on vacation, leaving envious employees behind. Worship attendance is notoriously lower as congregants vacate the pews in favor of vacation or just a summer break from church. It happens!
Churches also advertise their Vacation Bible School programs heavily during the summer as they gear up to welcome in large and small groups of children who are eager for games, crafts, music, and hopefully a little bit of God’s love. VBS programs are a major undertaking in even the smallest churches. There are materials to gather, volunteers to recruit, meals to plan, halls to decorate, lessons to organize, and so much more. There never seems to be enough time or help. It can be an exhausting experience for all involved in the VBS process. It can also be an incredibly rewarding event for both volunteers and children.
Our church kicks off our VBS program tonight. We are doing Cokesbury’s Operation Overboard, where kids can “Go Deep with God.” Our director and co-director have done a fabulous job getting things organized this year and have worked very hard preparing. I am confident that the children who come through our doors will experience God’s love and grace in deep ways and will have a blast doing so.
As I was helping transform our church into an underwater adventure on Saturday I had a few moments to reflect on the VBS process while nursing Kasen. I had seen the weariness of our leader and other volunteers who were helping prepare the church and materials for the week-long event. It caused me to think about the other times I had either led or helped with a VBS event, and how tiring the preparation process and event were. I felt God nudging at me to reflect on something more, but I just wasn’t sure what. I decided to pray for our current VBS and all those helping out, and especially for the children who we were trying to reach. As I prayed, God brought to mind one particular VBS I had organized. Continue reading