Day 4 of Vacation Bible School is tonight. By the time many of you read this, Vacation Bible School will be over. The ship, whale, backdrop and ocean will all be packed away, but the memories of this year's event will linger on in the hearts of all who were touched by the fun we had and lessons we learned this week.
In Jeff's sermon last Sunday, he mentioned that we should pray for God to send us someone to help. Well, here are just a few ways that prayer was answered…
Day 1 of VBS Jonah taught us that God is a God of FORGIVENESS who loves all people, is a God of second chances and who urges us to love and forgive others.
–We welcomed 14 children into our lives to learn God's stories and to learn how to apply these stories to our everyday living.
–We fed 6 unexpected visitors when people showed up to the church needing a little love and compassion. They came because we were there.
Day 2 of VBS Noah taught us that God's JUSTICE now requires humanity to live in relationship with God and to work for justice in the world. Justice no longer means punishment–it means to work together to make the world a JUST place to live.
–we experienced a population explosion on this day when 29 children joined in on the fun!
–the children began their offering campaign to raise money for mosquito nets for malaria through the Church World Service's eradicate malaria campaign. Their efforts will help save countless families from the devastating illness of malaria–making the world safer for people we may never know. (Thus far they have raised $63.25.)
Day 3 of VBS Mary, a friend of Jesus, taught us about Jesus' call to his Disciples and to us to CHANGE ourselves in order to follow God's call. We are to live a life that shares God's love with others and become Fishers of People so all might know the love and grace that is offered to us through Jesus Christ.
–this night ended with a board meeting where new officers, deacons and elders were recommended to serve the church in the coming year. In addition to these new additions, the hard work and love of those who wish to retire from service to the church was celebrated. These new officers have offered themselves in service to our congregation. The work they will do in the coming year is a testament of their faith in God through Jesus Christ and their love for our congregation and the ministries we represent. It was delightful to see so many step forward in service and in love. Our retiring elders represent the faith foundation that brought us to this place in time. Their love and dedication to the church has touched the lives of many throughout the years. The work of the past, the present and the future comes together to declare each of us CHANGED people who are now "Fishers of People" and Disciples of Christ.
- Day 4 of VBS is tonight (Wednesday) and we will learn of Jesus' PEACE as we hear of how he calmed the storm. I cannot wait to experience how God will reveal the truths of this message to us in the very near future.
- And, Day 5 of VBS will be Thursday evening where we will gather and learn of Jesus' LOVE with the story of how he walked on water. It is my prayer that we learn to live the full power of that love each and every day as we walk our faith journey together.
And when the week comes to a close, we will pack it all up and return to our busy lives and summer plans. If we've done our work well, we can walk away knowing that we have touched their lives with an understanding of how they can take God stories into their lives and become disciples themselves, practicing: FORGIVENESS, JUSTICE, CHANGE, PEACE and LOVE in all their living.