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From The Pastor

June 22, 2018 | by: Rev. John Hartman | 0 comments

Posted in: Children & Family

From the Pastor

“The Stories and Songs of Vacation Bible School"

        Beginning Sunday, and throughout next week, I get the feeling that Chestnut Level is going to be a surging river of children. The current will be moving constantly, guided by vigilant adult leaders determined that not one of their flock will be lost. And we will take very seriously Jesus’s words that when one wanders away, the good shepherd leaves the 99 to retrieve the single lost sheep. Thankfully, we have plenty of leaders who will be making sure that those particular words of Jesus are not part of the VBS experience. 

        What’s most important is what we will be trying to accomplish. The goal is to have these children know the words of Jesus, love him and his stories, and to love his Church. Somewhere in the house I grew up in New Jersey are still some of the crafts I made when I was in VBS as a child, so it certainly played a big part in my own life of faith.  

        Church should be a place where we can come to learn and play. At an early age I learned to love church for that very reason. Had church and play not come together, I’m not sure I would have stuck around long enough for church and work to intersect in my life. 

        My teachers taught me songs, — funny songs, silly songs, songs about Jesus, songs about how Jesus loves little children, songs about how Zacchaeus climbed up a tree, and songs about how the B-I-B-L-E is the book for me. And there was Bible baseball, and all kinds of fun ways to learn the stories of God’s love. 

        And while we were learning all those songs we made things. We colored pictures and crafted things out of construction paper, yarn, Play-Doh, and Popsicle sticks. The stories of scripture got connected with drawing, painting and coloring. 

        Now that I am an adult, I don’t do theology with crayons anymore, – but the theology done in crayon long ago brought me to the Lord, and his Church. I am so glad that I had VBS as a child, because if you took away the crayons and the crafts, I don’t know if I would have stuck with the church. 

        The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy reminding him that “from infancy you have known the holy scriptures.” Babies are not inclined to learn theology, – but it’s never too early to teach them the Bible and how to pray. It’s never too early to tell them the good news that make up the greatest story ever. And perhaps by God’s grace, they will come to know that their own story is a part of that larger story, and that God’s hand is in all of it.  

        So, let me ask you, when you were growing up, who told you God’s story? Who was the “face of the Church” for you?

        Please pray for all those children who come through the doors of CLPC for VBS next week from June 24-28, and be sure to give thanks to those at CLPC who will be the face of this church in teaching those songs and stories.

Quote of the Week

 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 

II Timothy 3:14-15 



Pastor John