My office is always messy — projects, donated bottle caps, piles of books, a case of hand sanitizer — the mixture of “stuff” often stymies my best attempts at organization. This time of year, the chaos seems to multiply! Now, in addition to everything else, there are piles of rocks, a box of compasses, a kaleidoscope kit, several attempts to make a God’s Eye, a case of Band-Aids®, and a bag of birdseed.
Sometimes the “stuff” of children’s ministry can be a little overwhelming. Over the next few days, that “stuff” will be carefully divided into crates for daily craft projects and reflection activities. They will be hauled across campus and strategically placed, ready for camp.
That is when the transformation begins: The old pizza box will become a solar oven where we will bake cookies, remembering the bread that God fed Elijah in the wilderness. The meal won’t just be a story, but an actual memory of something warm and sweet at the end of a long day. Foam balls and parachutes will create a fun game, but children also will see the earth shake and the winds blow, and ultimately transform the parachute into a cave where we will listen for God’s still, small voice — just like Elijah did so long ago. Those Band-Aids® will patch up scraped knees and be a visible sign of care extended.
We’ll see other kinds of transformation next week. An old story will become new again as it is acted out and relived by our students on the front lawn of the church. Our rising fourth to sixth graders will be counselors, making the shift from participants to leaders. This year they will not only be learning the story but sharing it with others. Our older youth will be mentors. Strangers will become friends, and a pile of registrations will become a community. This associate pastor may even become a song leader, but far more likely she will be the student watching in awe as God is at work.
As we learn more about the story of Elijah in the Wilderness, we ask that you keep VBC in your prayers. Below is a prayer to guide you:
God meet us at VBC this week.
When we are tired, refresh us.
When we are lost, guide us.
When we are distracted, speak.
Help us to see you in the care extended, in the things that astound us, and in the new ways we cannot yet imagine.
Be with each of us — participants, volunteers, family and friends — as we search for you.