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.
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.