For the past three weeks, all I’ve had on my mind was Vacation Bible School. I was typing up class lists, keeping track of registration fees, and making signs. While I walked, I listened to VBS music and tried to memorize words. While I sat at jury duty, I read the curriculum and wrote lesson plans. And then it was finally THE WEEK. Parents and kids filled the quiet narthex of our church and it was time for VBS to begin!
I felt like a blur all week long. Singing songs, organizing skits and telling Bible stories was uplifting and exhausting all at the same time. By the time the morning was over the last thing I wanted to do was keep going, make lunch for Lily and Emmy, and plan for the next day. I wanted to nap. I think I actually did nap at least once.
Let me tell you, VBS kids have a way of knowing how they should answer a question. When doing a lesson about caring, I asked the kids to tell me someone who loves them. They were supposed to say “Mom” or “Dad” or “my sister” and I would write their answer down on a sticky note shaped like a heart. At the end of the morning, I was going to arrange all the hearts into a large cross. The first answer I heard the kids say? “JESUS!” Yes, they knew the whole point of the lesson before I had even taught it.
The week flew by. I beamed with pride by the end when the kids were standing up and singing with joy “Standing on the Promises of God!” I knew that my prayers had been answered and the Spirit had moved through our mornings together.
So even though at times I feel resentful that VBS planning seemed to take over my life, feel tired and worn out and blurry, VBS also has a way of bringing my life back into focus. I should say, the Spirit has a way of bringing my life back into focus. So yes, I missed a couple weeks of writing on my blog. I still have some wrapping up work to do for VBS. But all that work…and the work of the Spirit…makes my volunteering gig worth it.
The last leaf has fallen from the maple trees in front of our house. The green grass is slowly turning to brown as cold air settles in to stay. November is here.
As the wind whirls dead leaves around me, it would be easy to assume that the middle of November here in the Midwest is lifeless. There are no green leaves on the trees; brown clematis vines rattle against the lamp post; impatiens have wilted away from frostbite. Everything seems quite dead.
The brisk winds have blown all the leaves off the trees.
But wait! Just below the clematis skeleton are purple chrysanthemums, still colorful and able to withstand the light frost the past few nights have seen.
A fat brown squirrel stubbornly chews away at a pumpkin. He knows what treasure awaits him inside, and when he finally gets to those pumpkin seeds, he carries away each seed to help him stay plump.
The ground is not yet too frozen for mud pies, as my two little girls discover. The chill in the air is not enough to keep them inside!
As I think about all these things, I am reminded of the trip my father took this weekend. He drove up to Minnesota and visited a quiet place where my mother is buried. I can imagine the silent stones overlooking the small lake; the cold Minnesota wind whistling over the hill, making that place seem indeed lifeless.
That must have been how the women at the tomb felt on that that early Sunday morning, as lifeless as the tomb in front of them.
But wait! Just inside the lifeless tomb are two angels! They are certainly not lifeless, and neither was our Lord when He rose on that third day!
Today we celebrate Christ the King Sunday, and as we remember that wonderful day when He rose from the grave, we are reminded why He is the King of Heaven and Earth. And when we reach that heavenly shore, we will wonder why we thought death was lifeless, because that thought couldn’t be farther from the truth of eternal life that Jesus brings.