A Kingdom for Children

Tomorrow is the first day of VBS, and it is going to be great! How do I know? Well I saw the curriculum in action on our Bathurst mission trip, and it is honestly just so much fun. I’m excited for another week of singing those songs and watching kids build relationships with each other and their leaders and they experience the different stations and learn about God’s love for them.

I also know VBS will be great because it’s what God wants us to do. We had staff training on Saturday, and I shared a devo based on Mark 10:13-16. The story comes in the middle of Jesus answering questions from religious leaders, some time after his transfiguration and healing a demon possessed boy (in Mark 9). At this point in his ministry, Jesus was officially a big deal, and his disciples had to do some crowd control, organize his appointments if you will, and let people know when he was ready for an audience. The problem is, they had the wrong idea of who Jesus prioritized seeing, and they were turning away parents who brought their children to be blessed by Jesus.

Can you imagine the scene?
Parent: “We’ve come to see Jesus.”
Disciple: “He’s very busy today – is this a religious matter? Do you have questions about applying the law or interpreting the prophets?”
Parent: “Oh, I’ve brought my children for Jesus to bless.”
Disciple: “To bless eh? Well, do they have demons? Are they crippled? Are they dead?”
Parent: [stunned] “No, they are well thank God. We just want his blessing.”
Disciple: “It sounds to me like you’re already pretty blessed. Trust me, we’ve seen some crazy stuff go down. Just be grateful for your happy healthy kids and go your way, Jesus has much more important business. Next!”

Jesus catches wind of what’s happening and is indignant – some translations use the word angry.

“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

VBS is an amazing opportunity because it brings to life our beliefs that God’s kingdom is a place where children are welcome. As I write this, a team of volunteers are working to transform our church sanctuary into a jungle, and over the course of the week, that sanctuary will be filled with more singing and cheering and dancing and laughter than it has seen in a year of Sundays. That’s not to say our Sunday worship services aren’t celebratory, but they aren’t geared to bringing the gospel to life for children.

In my devo on Saturday I shared two thoughts with our staff to keep in mind over the next two weeks:

  1. Children’s ministry is as important as anything else the church does. It is our job to live out God’s kingdom in a way that engages and welcomes children because they have a high status according to Jesus.
  2. Working with kids is a great way for us to learn more about God’s kingdom. We are signing up to serve these kids, to keep them safe and help them have fun, but we are also signing up for front row tickets to learn about God’s kingdom, to see examples of how to respond to God and grow in our faith.

 

Would you pray for us this week and next? Please pray for a joyful spirit to permeate our day camp and truly make this a labour of love. Pray for the children who are coming, that they will see the kingdom of God in a new light and know they have an important role to play in it; pray for the volunteers to have energy and enthusiasm. Pray for safety – protection from accidents and injuries, and spiritual protection particularly for the children and volunteers who are not yet believers but who will hear the gospel preached all week.

We are looking forward to what God will do.

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Comments

Susan 11-08-2014, 11:48

So excited for you all to be where God is working! I’ll be praying.

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VBS update from Alyssa: A Kingdom for Children | Agincourt Baptist Church 11-08-2014, 19:38

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