by Tony Tench
We have had a terrific week at Vacation Bible Study during which we have celebrated the Scripture’s teaching of God’s creativity at work in our lives. As is our tradition, our youth are trained to be helpers during VBS and they serve well with the children. Then, after VBS is over each night, there’s a youth fellowship of some kind — make your own pizza and games, pool party, movie night in the grass, putt-putt. On the first evening while putting everything up from the movie night, Carol Ann, our Minister of Students, snapped this spooky picture of the shadows on the exterior wall of the church. Our breezeway was decorated with cut-outs of children at play and light from a nearby street lamp made it look like a ghostly encounter was still happening inside the church though everyone was gone!
It’s an illustrious photo but there’s nothing ghostly or frightening about it. It simply reminds us that long after VBS is over the joyful spirits of children linger in our church family and in their own families continuing to sing the songs of faith and reiterate the stories from the Bible the week unveiled. And therein is great news!
You see during this week a Maker Fun Factory VBS, Missy Smith, our Minister of Children, led us to teach the children these crucial lessons for life from the Bible:
- God Made You
- God is For You
- God is Always with You
- God Will Always Love You
- God Made You for a Reason
These lessons, sure enough, cause joy to well up in our spirits because we know that when God thought us up in the first place he had in mind to see us be part of an incredible story. He made us for a purpose — to be conformed to the image of his son and join him in his kingdom’s work. Herein, our lives are filled with meaning and thus with overflowing joy!
And, because God is always for us and always loves us, we can be confident in a future that is filled with “God sightings” along the way. We can depend on the Spirit to daily draw near to our side and encourage us with God’s peace for making decisions, for our relationships, and for facing the most difficult of days we might encounter.
So, no. Our church was not haunted by the ghosts of children running through the halls. Instead, our church is well-possessed with the spirit of child-like celebration that comes from knowing the creator of the universe as our Father, our Savior, and our Friend.
It’s a celebration that leads to action to serve others as the children did this week by bringing in canned food items for our Minister of Education, Perry Holleman, to deliver to the Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association food pantry.
It’s a celebration that was learned through hands on Bible study each night of Vacation Bible School.
It’s a celebration that comes from tasting and seeing that the Lord is good through intentional food items during VBS supper.
It’s a celebration founded in our thanksgiving for America where our freedom to worship is of prime importance, our thanksgiving for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, and our thanksgiving for the Holy word that we hide in our hearts as the Living word makes himself known to us each day.