Vacation Bible School at CGS hits me with fresh joy and grace every year. I wasn’t raised in the church, but I did have some experience in one–the church where I attended VBS nearly every summer of my childhood. I recall with clarity the skits, songs (some of which I can still sing), crafts, and snacks. I remember being intrigued by the teenage volunteers’ vibrant faith, how they spoke of Jesus in ways that seemed so personal and endearing. While God didn’t choose to show me Himself until I was 18, these little seeds of His love laid along the way are bearing fruit into my adulthood.
It is with this nostalgia that I consider our own VBS at CGS. I feel some sense of responsibility to that little lost kid who knew nothing of Jesus except glitter glue, skits, and goldfish crackers. I hope the kids I now serve will come to remember their experiences at VBS as vividly I remember my own. Never is Jesus more whooped and hollered about than at VBS week. Never is He more celebrated in ways kids can understand than these five coveted days.
Why do I spend months (and months) preparing for one week in June? Why do I send the emails, drag the supplies around, and do a thousand things that for just five days seems ridiculous? I do it because VBS is special. The Holy Spirit Himself is singing alongside the kids (Romans 8:26-27), following the hand motions and grinning brightly. VBS is like Jesus’ pep rally. We are all gathered in the height of worship–when our hands are dually raised in reverence and lowered in service. We are both celebrating and serving at the same time.
As much as VBS is for the kids, it’s not about the kids. Each person serving or attending, basically any soul under our roof for those five days, is there to bring God glory. They are there to be gifted with a summer breeze of grace, and even for those, like myself, who labor for months to get VBS off the ground, the breeze is a cool and sweet relief.. As long as I am a church member, I pray I always have a heart for serving at VBS. There is nothing like a week-long party for Jesus, driven by childlike wonder, that shows us ourFather’s heart (Luke 15:24).