VBS makes me cry
I have a confession to make.
Vacation Bible School makes me cry.
I don’t cry from the days of hard work and not enough sleep.
I don’t cry from some of the more “spirited little darlings” running around in class and not listening when we call their name for the 10th time.
I cry because VBS is so special to me, I’ll even dare to say it’s sacred.
I have either been a kid in VBS or volunteering in VBS for as far back as I can remember. You might say it’s in my blood. My mother was the queen of VBS (AKA the director) for many years at the church in which I grew up. My grandmother was the punch and cookie lady whom everyone called Miss Lib. I grew up knowing I better not throw away a toilet paper roll before I checked first to see if we needed to save it for VBS.
I spent time as a student missionary in the Baptist church in my late teens and early twenties. I have many a precious memory of kids learning about Jesus, singing songs to Him and making crafts to illustrate our daily bible point.
There is definitely nostalgia which plays a part in my teary eyes, but it is also what VBS is about.
Leading kids to Jesus.
Tonight we finished up the last night of VBS at my church. I once again stood there fighting back tears as tons of kids cheered because they had not only raised enough money to meet our $1,500 goal to buy 100 pairs of shoes for kids in underdeveloped countries, they had raised enough to buy 110 pairs of shoes! They were learning that kids can do big things for God. I wept as we wrapped up another successful VBS. I cried when our children’s pastors led the kids in the ABCs of salvation and I prayed for a seed to be planted in their tiny hearts. This scripture came to mind:
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6
As our children grow and begin to make their way in the world it is natural to wonder about the choices they’ll make and what their future holds. Yet the truth of this verse still stands. They are learning now the most important thing there is to know and it will always be with them no matter where life takes them.
Last year I had the privilege of volunteering for the first time in our churches VBS after a long absence from serving at one in any capacity. I stood in the balcony gazing down on more kids than I had ever seen in one VBS. They were singing, wiggling, giggling and generally having a blast in a sanctuary decorated to the hilt (not to mention the entire church) in that year’s theme. As I watched it unfold my eyes welled up and I got a little embarrassed at my tears. At the time I chalked it up entirely to nostalgia. However this year as I was brought to tears again, more than once, I knew it must go deeper.
The simple point is Jesus really does love the little children.
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. “-Matthew 19:13-15
This verse is mentioned many times when we talk about children’s ministry but boy it is really on point. And if something is important to Jesus then we’d better pay attention.
Kids have many of the same thoughts and feeling adults do. They worry, they make mistakes, they need hope and they need to know the true source of that hope. This week they learned that when these worries and troubles in life arise Jesus will rescue them.
One of the songs from this year’s VBS was an updated version of the old hymn Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.
“'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"
This is my prayer that these sweet, funny, wild and crazy kids at VBS this year will take Him at His word and grow to trust Him fully.
Many of them will do as I have done and volunteer after they’re too old to attend.
I hope they will always look back on their years in VBS fondly and maybe even shed a tear or two.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
Sign up to receive Mindy's Quirk-E-Mails