Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Hear! Hear the Voice of the Lord!"

Matthew 3:17
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

My church hosts a vacation Bible school every summer.  This year, the name of the program is "Operation Overboard" where the children learn to dive deep into their relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.

I am thrilled to be the shepherdess for a lively and loving bunch of rising kindergarteners.  Along with another adult and two teen volunteers, we escort the children to various activities throughout the morning:  snack; music; Bible lesson; missions; crafts/science, and outdoor games.

Each day, the children learn a different "ocean insight" which opens their horizons to what it means to be a follower of the Lord.  I love that these are short, sweet, and easy to recall:
  • Monday - Depend on God.
  • Tuesday - Dare to care.
  • Wednesday - Claim Jesus.
  • Thursday - Choose to follow.
  • Friday - Change the world.
 These sum up, in a nutshell, what it means to be a Christian, don't they?

While all the activities we do are interactive and attention-grabbing, there is nothing all week that tops Wednesday's Bible lesson.

Talented volunteers take on the roles of John the Baptist and Jesus.  They re-enact the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan River.

The children are paying rapt attention.

Down goes Jesus into the Jordan!  Submerged like a diver.  Then, up He surfaces!

When He does, a paper dove appears over the edge of the stage backdrop.

And, we hear something no one is expecting . . .

A booming, stentorian voice descends from the heavens.  Reverberates like thunder throughout the room.  Sends an unprecedented, unanticipated thrill through every fiber of my being.

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!"

The children are awestruck.  Dumbfounded.  Many look anxiously around the room, trying to figure out where the voice came from.

"What was that?"  asks one little boy.

"Why, that was the voice of God," one of the leaders explains.  "Can you imagine standing on the banks of the Jordan River, watching the real Jesus being baptized, and hearing God speak these words?  Wouldn't that be amazing?"

One rather precocious and, I might add, "Doubting Thomas", raises her hand.

"Would it be okay if I look behind the curtain?  Just to be sure?"

I do so hope that, before the week is out, this precious child will no longer be skeptical in her faith.

And, instead, run headlong to meet Jesus and claim Him as her own.
~
Are you hearing the voice of the Lord?

Will you join me in prayer?
Today, Father, we pray for all those who volunteer their time and energy to host vacation Bible schools at their places of worship.  May they teach the children, by word and deed, to depend on You, to care for others, to claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior, to choose to follow Him, and change the world in His name.  Amen. 

28 comments:

  1. This is truly wonderful Martha :D I am so pleased to hear you have a host of volunteers sharing in Jesus' task. And they sure sound pretty creative. I'd love to see how that play was done. And I'd love to see the children's reactions :)

    Your scheds each day are well thought of. And I'm glad you have Bible lessons for the kids to listen to.

    I pray with you. May God continue opening the hearts of the young and 'old' to share their love and time with others.

    I am very happy for you :*

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  2. Thanks so much for visiting, Melissa!
    Yes, this truly was an amazing week of sharing God's love with the little ones. While it does them a lot of good, we older folks are blessed, too, in examining and reassessing our faith all over again.
    Nothing better than seeing Jesus' love in the eyes of a child!
    Blessings to you!

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  3. Oh this is lovely, Martha. I'm not very good with little children in large groups but have helped run summer camps for older kids. It's always fun and I can imagine the wide-eyed wonder at that voice!
    Jesus must have had a quiet laugh at the request to look behind the curtain!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Corinne!
      I'm really better with older kids, too, and wasn't so sure at first that I would be good with the tiny ones. Lots of hugs, sitting in laps, and hand-holding convinced me otherwise! :)
      And, yes, I'm sure Jesus had a great laugh over this one.
      Blessings to you!

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  4. This sounds like so much fun! And that little one who wanted to look behind that curtain...she's smart. I don't see her as a doubting Thomas at all but one who is using her gift of discernment. There was, after all, a man behind that curtain;) I'm sure she will hold on to what is real and let go of what is not, with devoted teachers like you leading her. All my love dear Martha!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Leah!
      Yes, that little girl was quite the intelligent one and always seemed to have good questions throughout the week. Actually, there was no "man" behind the curtain; the voice was a prerecording of our pastor and cleverly wired into the room to sound like it was coming from above. Amazing!
      And, yes, I had a blast!
      Blessings to you!

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  5. what a great experience you are giving to these children!!! I do listen to God's voice, in many different ways <3

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Nikky, and glad you enjoyed the post.
      Yes! Keep on listening for the voice of the Lord!
      Blessings to you!

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  6. Martha,
    Reading this gave me goose bumps! I loved the vacation Bible studies I brought my children too! They always seemed to come away with the message loud an clear!!

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  7. Thanks so much for dropping in today, Cathy!
    Wow! Goosebumps? That's wonderful!
    And, yes, sometimes I think children take these lessons more to heart in one week of VBS than in an entire year of Sunday school. It's just that exciting!
    Blessings to you!

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  8. thank you for your example of kindness and witness to children. all of my kids LOVED Bible school...they would sing those songs all week long...and learned a lot more than I think the volunteer helpers ever realized.....keep planting those seeds!!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Annmarie!
      So great to know all your children loved VBS and those songs stuck in their head - they're stuck in mine right now - lol!
      Yes, it is such a God-given opportunity to plant those seeds in young soil, ripe and ready to learn about His love. I enjoyed every moment.
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Great post. I taught Vacation Bible school two years...one year with preschoolers and the other year was with kindergarten students. It was a lot of fun! Gotta love the enthusiasm and all the questions!

    So glad you have the opportunity to teach a class...your students will undoubtedly be blessed by having you as their teacher as your love for the Lord will certainly inspire.

    ~ blessings

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica!
      So neat that you taught VBS, too. Oh, yes, there is nothing quite like the enthusiasm and the questions the little ones have. I think I learned as much as they did in this wonderful week. What a blessing it was!
      Blessings to you!

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  10. Nice post...love the inquisitiveness of that child.

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    1. Great to see you here, Janu! Thanks for stopping by.
      Yes, isn't she a marvel? As I said in a previous comment, she asked good questions all week long - light years ahead of the other five-year-olds.
      Blessings to you!

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  11. I LOVE IT!!! This IS beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this, Lisa! Thanks for stopping by today!
      Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Adriana, for stopping by today and for your kind compliment. :)
      Blessings!

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  13. I led the children’s music for all ages at St. Tim’s at VBS. We sang and danced, signed and clapped, all that lively, fun music lifted the soul on up! Being around little ones brings you closer to Jesus, wouldn’t you say?

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Debra!
      Years ago, at my former church, I did the very same thing you did! Goosebumps??? :)
      And, yes, I saw Jesus all week long in the faces of these little ones.
      Blessings!

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  14. What a great testimony to the witness of vacation Bible school in children's lives. Kudos to you for taking this on... I heard great things about the energy and fun at VBS this year! Do you read Dede Reilly's blog? Here's another great post from her about VBS:
    http://dedebullreilly.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/the-new-vacation-bible-school/

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Lynne!
      Yes, it was a fantastic time and I can hardly wait for next year.
      I was not aware of Dede's blog, so will be sure to check it out.
      Blessings!

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  15. Nice, my kids participate on vacation program in the Anglican church we attend here, it is lots of fun for them, they enjoy that of Christmas the most.
    More blessings to you as you work with the kids, Martha.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Luchi!
      Glad to know your children our participating in VBS at your church. It's wonderful when they can have so much fun and learn about God's love at the same time. I enjoyed every moment with the children and look forward to doing it again next year. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  16. Hi, Martha! ~

    Love the story! Personally, I'd be proud if my child was the one who asked to check behind the curtain because she was correct in her suspicion that it wasn't really the voice of the Lord, rather a re-enactment ;-)

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Linda!
      Yes, she was quite the smart young lady and asked great questions all week long.
      So glad you enjoyed the post.
      Blessings to you!

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