This week is Vacation Bible School week for our church. Each day we gather for the “Rolling River Rampage,” to sing, dance, craft, and learn about the love of God. Each day, I call out to our children, “When you pass through the waters…” and they respond, “I will be with you.” And “who is I?” I ask. And all these young voices yell out, “God!” “Jesus!”
Ah, but the cynic and the skeptic out there, and frankly, right within me, cries out, “they don’t know what that means.” Maybe. But each day, our children are hearing that God is with them, always. That God loves them, always, no exceptions. And they see this love lived out in the stories they hear, and the adults who lovingly lead them through the day. To me, that’s beautiful and powerful.
Each night, I go home and the songs of the day are on a repeating loop. I listen to anything else, just to hear something else. But I hope, indeed I pray, that our children are hearing these same songs as they go home each night. I hope they’re remembering the one where God says, “when you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” I hope it gets stuck deep down in their memories so that when life is hard, painful, sad, awkward and embarrassing, some part of them remembers God is with them, right in that awful, awful moment.
Vacation Bible School is fun, silly, exhausting, humbling, funny, and so, so important. We’re telling kids each and every day that they are loved, always and everywhere. We’re telling them that whatever they face, they don’t face it alone. And that’s good news.
Who hasn’t forgotten from time to time, how loved we are, or that we’re not alone? Even the disciples forgot, in the middle of a storm, that God was with them. That’s the story we’ll explore this Sunday as we continue our journey through Mark. On the sea of Galilee, in the middle of a storm, we find the disciples freaking out, and Jesus asleep. What happens next? Come and find out. Come and be reminded, “God loves you. God is with you. And there is nothing you can do about it.”
I’ll see you on Sunday,