Looking Back on VBS

My class lining up first thing in the morning.  :)

My class lining up first thing in the morning. 🙂

My apologies for the late, small post this week.  This was VBS week, and life was crazy!  I expected it to be exhausting, and to stretch me in unexpected ways, and I thought it would be scary and hard – and that was all true.  But praise God, it was also very easy (thanks to my awesome assistant), and tons of fun (thanks to the kids), and a huge blessing to me as well as (I hope!) the kids I taught.  It really is true that in preparing to teach you learn more than your students do.  I will definitely sign up to teach VBS in the future, Lord willing!  This week was fantastic.

I had nine third graders in my class – seven of them boys! – and they were rambunctious but wonderful students.  I loved them and they loved me.  I suspect their love for me had something to do with the “space rocks” – candy I wrapped in tinfoil and threw at the kids when they were being well-behaved.  That was a hit!

I fell in love with the curriculum, too, which emphasized many messages I already love to talk about, here on my blog: man in the image of God, His purpose and plan in our lives, the way sin makes us hide from God and each other, stories as symbols, and more.  The first day I tried to teach straight from my teacher guide, but I quickly realized that the lesson text itself was too advanced for my class.  The rest of the week I spent each evening writing my own version of the next day’s lesson.  That was very effective for me.

One day a whole half of the lesson focused on keeping the Sabbath and why we do it.  (VBS curriculum, your Presbyterian is showing…)  With barely enough time to do the Bible reading and the basic lesson to begin with, I chose to summarize that part very simply for the kids, as it seemed odd to me that so much time was spent on that one topic.  However, learned a lot from that part of the lesson plan, as I prepared to teach it.  Here is what I said to the kids in summary:

There’s one last thing we need to notice about this passage.  God didn’t tell Adam and Eve to start their work right away.  What did He do right after He finished creating?  [Answer: “He rested.”]  He created Adam and Eve and then immediately gave them the Sabbath, a day to rest and enjoy Him!  This is very important to God, that we take a break from our work on Sundays to simply enjoy Him and His creation.  He wanted to show them that the first and most important thing in their lives was to spend time with Him and love Him.  God still commands us to keep this special seventh day, or Sabbath.  He gave it to us as a picture to remind us of who we are, so we don’t forget it.  Our identity doesn’t come from the work we do, or our play, but from God who made us and wants us to be in a loving relationship with Him.  This is why we gather to worship Him in church on Sundays.  Being with Him is the ultimate goal of all Creation, so on Sundays we should take a break from everything in our lives that keeps us from remembering who we are, and what God made us to be in His image.

Sabbath-keeping is probably a whole post in the making – maybe a series of posts – as my view on it is constantly evolving (hopefully closer and closer to the truth and how God wants me to keep that command!), but I loved what the lesson said about how the Sabbath is a day of remembering who we are, and the One Who brought us into being.  That’s truly the best and most beautiful explanation of the Sabbath I have ever heard!

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, for he himself gives all men life, and breath, and everything else.  From one man he made every nation of men … and he determined the times set for them, and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek him … and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.  For in him we live, and move, and have our being. – Acts 17:24-28

I hope to return next week with a “real” post – although next week promises to be another crazy week because (cue ominous music) I plan to start potty-training my son on Tuesday.  We shall see what next Thursday brings!

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  1. Jared

     /  August 9, 2014

    I’m so glad it was a blessed week for you and the lilones (:

  2. Kathryn

     /  August 9, 2014

    This was a great post, some pretty real things were said, we need to remember that God wants us to have down time to enjoy “us” meaning him and I

  3. Kessie

     /  August 9, 2014

    Sounds like a really good experience! I’ll bet you were one of those super-fun teachers that every kid enjoys. 🙂

  4. I like that description of the Sabbath too!
    I’ll pray for your potty-training!


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