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Friday, July 11, 2014

Sometimes

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It is that time of the year again, when churches come alive with exotic jungle scenes and other far out places. Those spaces where adults meet to discuss the churchís ďimportant itemsĒ are now occupied by the youngest among us. Their wide eyes and unbridled spirits fill the steeples with vibrant laughter and hopeful imagination.

I have fond memories of attending Vacation Bible School myself. It was the time of the summer where I got to go to church at night and sing songs at my own pace. More importantly, it was at Vacation Bible School where the foundation of my faith was laid, as I sung songs about Godís love for me.

Though technology has changed since my time in VBS, the message is the same:
Jesus loves you.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--trYhtGXKHk/U77BMlEd9iI/AAAAAAAAASQ/uMK4BV9g0WU/s1600/vbs2014.jpg

This is a scene from Weird Animals - brought to you and your children by the Lincoln Neighborhood
VBS churches July 7-11, 2014. Come learn about weird creatures and God's Love!


All week, weíve led the children in an adventure through the realities of life. Our time together has been spent exploring how sometimes we donít fit in; how some times we are noticeably different; and how sometimes, we just donít know why things happen. But what we do know is this: that we are all created exactly as God wanted us to be; that God sees us as beautiful, especially because of our differences; and that though we may not understand why things happen, Godís love remains constant.

It is easy to write our children off as the Ďfuture of the church.í After all, they arenít writing checks or contributing financially to the latest church campaign. After spending a week at VBS, Iím reminded again that our children are as much of the movers and shakers of the church as we adults are.

We have much to learn from our children.

I learn from their enthusiastic gospel proclaim gospel: that even when we feel left out, Jesus loves you.

I learn from children who, though formerly strangers, lock hands and sing that age old song we all sang when we were little: Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

I learn from their gallant statements, they boldly tell me that though they feel weird and strange at times, they know in their hearts that God is with them.

I learn from their focus, not on politics or hot button issues, but on learning each others names and favorite animals.

Above all, the greatest lesson Iíve learned from the children at Vacation Bible School this week is accepting one simple truth: that God loves me just as I am.

Nothing else.
Nothing more.


This makes me think of my favorite quote from Trappist monk Thomas Merton who once said, ďTo say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.Ē

Indeed, Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.


But, Jesus too, loves 50+ children who wiggle and squirm, giggle and worship, sing and dance, all because they know that God loves them.


[Pastor Adam Quine, First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln]

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