It's VBS season, and we're up to our eyeballs in that happy task.
I am helping to direct the program again, and Jason is gearing up to act out Bible stories in one of the classrooms. It was he who had the creative idea to use chocolate pudding for the mud that Jesus smeared on the blind man's eyes [John 9]. Pop open a single-serve, smear, wash, pop open another single-serve for the next group, repeat.
So I suppose he soon will be literally up to his eyeballs in VBS.
One of my favorite things about VBS is how much time it affords me to work with our children's ministry director and friend Lisa. This morning I made her cry. I had reminded her of a Sunday school talk she gave once on helping to prepare our children for worship, and I told her that we had been following her suggestions. Using the "All About Sunday" email our church sends every Friday, we choose one song from the upcoming service and sing it together. Then we read that week's Scripture passage, helping the kids to read their parts of it. Then we pass around a yellow vase in which I've stuck a whole bunch of jumbo popsicle sticks and we all "pick a stick." On each stick is written a person or aspect of the worship service or concern of the church to pray for. We each pray for what is written on our stick.
This morning my six-year-old prayed for our covenant children, that they would "recognize" Jesus and "learn more and more and more about Him." My eleven-year-old prayed for one of our pastors. My eight-year-old prayed that our Sunday school teachers would have a refreshing break over the summer. It was sweet and glorious.
Yet, it was interspersed with ugliness and frustration. Lines from the hymn were replaced with reprimands to keep-yourself-to-yourself-and-pay-attention. Someone randomly started asking questions about their chewable vitamin in the middle of hearing God's holy Word. Somebody was kicking someone else during prayer.
Isn't life a mixture of muck and glory? Come to think of it, maybe that's why Jesus smeared mud on the blind man's eyes. He could've healed with a touch or a word, yes, but maybe we're meant to learn that Jesus is comfortable working His healing beneath our mess.
Our sins they are many,
His mercy is more