Yes, indeed, I do love VBS, Vacation Bible School. We just finished our VBS week at Prince of Peace, and I’m still celebrating the joys and fulfillment it provided to all the children who attended and to those of us adults who taught and helped.
These are the things I love about VBS.
I love that it is still, as it has always been, about Jesus. The “Old, Old Story” never gets old. I love it that we come together for this week of concentration on Jesus.
Jesus is God’s only Son. He is the Savior that God sent into the world in order that through Him the world might be saved.
It’s Jesus who has conquered sin, death, and the devil. With His death on the cross Jesus paid for and forgave the sins of the whole world. With His resurrection He provides the power of eternal life for all who believe in Him.
It is Jesus who remains with us through His Holy Spirit, holding us in the faith and forming us into His way of life.
It is Jesus who is reaching out to us for a relationship with Him. VBS is about Jesus. I love it.
I love it that VBS is about, well, the Bible. After all, it is Vacation Bible School. The Bible is God’s Word. In the Bible we have absolute and eternal truth. As we read the Bible stories and Scripture passages we hear God’s Law, which shows us our sin and need for a savior. And we hear God’s Gospel, His Good News, that justification, salvation, and forgiveness for our sins comes not from what we do, but from what God has already done in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
In our time of rampant relativism, when so many people hold that there is no absolute truth, but that truth is just what any individual wants to make it for himself or herself, it is so refreshing and so necessary that we get back into the Bible and find God’s absolute and eternal truth, and above all, teach God’s eternal truth to our children at this key stage of their lives. VBS is about the Bible. I love it.
I love it that VBS is about music. There is just no such thing as VBS without music. I remember as a child that VBS was all about the music. I have a special memory about that because it was my mom who always led us children is singing our VBS songs. In those days the music was piano accompaniment and words either in a music book or scratched on a chalkboard. Now our music is professionally recorded and pumped through powerful amps and booming speakers, with words projected and pulsating from the big screen. But both then and now the music of VBS implants into our hearts and into our memory these vital messages about God as our Father, Jesus as our Savior, and the Holy Spirit as our strength and power.
So often, then, as life unfolds, we find ourselves singing a phrase from a VBS song that gives just the right help and hope when need it.
I love the crafts, decorations, and snacks of VBS. Those “craft people” are amazing. They can come up with more ways to use pipe cleaners and empty toilet paper rolls to bring home the truth of deep theological doctrines than you can even imagine. And you need something interesting to calm a stampeding herd of kindergarteners. Just drop by the craft room and they’ll have those kids quietly gluing rice grains on colored paper in no time. I love it.
And nowadays the advent of movie set quality decorations is amazing. You want your whole church to look like a jungle, no problem. Or a desert, no problem. Or a “Mighty Fortress?” No problem. Anything that helps add to the excitement of learning about Jesus from the Bible is great by me. I love it.
And if an “army marches on its stomach,” then a VBS certainly marches on its fruit snacks, crunch snacks, and, oh yes, those delicious sweet snacks, too. If an apple slice topped with cheese and pretzels can make one child think that VBS is the only place to be, then bring it on. I love it.
So, it’s Jesus and the Bible and all the long-standing and the newly-added rituals of VBS that I love.
But probably the most important thing about VBS and the thing I love the most is that through all the efforts both out-front and behind-the-scenes, the children and adults who receive the blessings of VBS either begin, or grow further into, their relationship with Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important in life than this. Nothing is more important than knowing that you are going to spend your eternity in the bliss and blessing of heaven because of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Nothing is more important than knowing that through all the issues and problems of life, you have Jesus Christ as your friend and helper.
VBS. I love it!
Find Kollmeyer at princeofpeacefayette.org. Contemporary Service 9:30. Traditional 11:15. Join us.