Churches everywhere are observing Vacation Bible School Season. Although liturgical calendars do not note the sacred time, summer would not be complete without the Holy Week of bedlam and chaos.
I grew up attending VBS with a different theme each year. A joyful Jesus adorned all of the materials. Maps, pictures, and posters adorned the cinderblock walls. Flimsy 33-rpm records supported the curriculum with the week’s featured songs.
Filmstrips were high tech way back then. Multi-media presentations included felt boards with cartoon figures. For years, I thought all the disciples were six inches tall with Velcro strips down their backs!
Recreation was the high point of the day. The older youth led the playtime, which meant the teenage boys flirted with their female counterparts while we ran wild. The more organized leaders tossed us a kick ball before standing aside.
Refreshments included juice along and cookies. Whenever I read about Jesus feeding the five thousand with loaves and fishes, I always assumed the writers meant to say Kool-Aide and Oreos! I also thought that the pastors ought to substitute iced sugar cookies for the stale crackers used at Holy Communion.
We loved arts and crafts time, using markers, construction paper, glitter, balsa wood, and modeling clay. Oh, and the things we could do with a few Popsicle sticks and some paste glue! No doubt Noah constructed the ark with only these supplies on hand.
During music, we enthusiastically sang the songs of faith. Our Top Ten List included “This is My Father’s World,” “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” and “The B-I-B-L-E.” Our all time, number one, favorite was “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know.”
Truth to tell, I remember the context of Vacation Bible School much more than the content. However, those summer weeks became grace-moments in my life. I learned that the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, loved and cherished ME!
I hope every child in our community has the opportunity to attend Vacation Bible School this summer. The experience will transform their lives, and the memories will last forever.
Give this generation a foundation of faith along with some juice, cookies, and Popsicle sticks, and they will change the world forever!