In June, I had the treat — the blessing — of helping with Vacation Bible School at my church, Beebe First United Methodist. This is something I had not done for ten years, but obviously, it’s like riding a bicycle — you never forget how to do it.
Often, in a small town, children attend their own Bible School, but also visit other churches’ summer events around town, thus making each VBS a community happening. Although our Sunday School numbers are not what they were pre-pandemic, we had over 100 children each day (ages 4 years to 6th grade) take part in the activities.
The theme for the week was about being heroes and what God might call heroes to do. “Heroes are called to follow Jesus.” “… to help others.” “… to work together.” “…to show grace.”
I’m not a physically able person any more, but I was asked to help with the “actors,” a group of teen helpers who performed a skit each session based on the Bible story for the day. We dressed in robes (made for magi and shepherds appearing in pageants during Christmases past), performed for each grade level independently, then the teacher led them in a discussion of the story, focusing on what a follower of Jesus would do in such a situation.
I played a small part each day, Moses’ mother dropping him into the Nile River, a dissenter plotting to do away with Paul. Fortunately, young children suspend disbelief easily.
After our stellar performance and their discussion, each group was off to the next adventure, maybe to experience handcrafts — making a hero’s cape or a belt with a ‘gold’ medallion for a buckle. Or perhaps take time to write on the prayer wall before having game time or refreshments, ending each day with music and fellowship in the sanctuary. The music was loud and bouncy, giving everyone a chance to work out what little energy they might have left.
Our main scripture for the week, one we all committed to memory, was: Let us strive for those things that bring peace and for the things that build each other up. (Romans 14:19)
A verse everyone on earth should memorize and learn to live by.