This week I’m participating in the Vacation Bible School with the Wellandport Church teaching the adult class.
I’m teaching, but I think I’m the one receiving the most benefit. Not just from the adults in my class. But from the children. They are excited. They sing at the top of their lungs. And proudly show their pictures after class.
I love VBS. It reinforces the value of children. The need to teach them. And to provide spiritual direction for their lives.
This week reminds me of an occasion where the people brought their children to Jesus. Surprisingly the disciples rebuked the people. Jesus, however, was displeased by their rebuff and reprimanded them saying, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” (Mark 10:14-16)
In Jesus’ day it was customary for parents to bring their children to Rabbis for a blessing. So, it is reasonable they would also come to Christ. Jesus welcomed them. While the disciples probably thought they were doing Him a favor by protecting His time and conserving His energy, they failed to consider the worth of children. Children are important to Jesus.
There are several lessons here. The children were brought to Jesus. Who brought them? We would assume the parents. Moms and Dads, please bring your kids to Jesus. Not Just VBS. Give them an opportunity to know Jesus. To learn of His Word. To feel His love. To receive His blessings.
Furthermore, we learn some specific lessons from children.
Humility. This may be one of the main lessons. Once when they were arguing over who will be the greatest in the Kingdom, Jesus used a child as an example. He said, “you must be like this child.” (Matt 18:1-5). “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.”
Jesus is saying that the road to greatness begins with a humble spirit. Humility, however, is a forgotten virtue in our day. In fact, it is almost a scorned quality. Often a humble person in our culture is perceived as being weak. cowardly or fragile.
A humble person focuses more on the Father than on self. Recognizes his spiritual inadequacy. Understands his inability to save himself. And admits “I need the Lord.”
True humility leads to Dependance. Children need their parents. For food. Shelter. Protection. Support. In the same way, we need our Heavenly Father. He supplies our daily bread. He sent Jesus to point the way. He will supply our every need (Phil. 4:19).
Humility and dependence issues itself in Trust. Child-like trust is a proverb. In fact, we worry that sometimes children are too trusting. Unfortunately, in a day when evil people would harm children, they must be warned to be careful. Fortunately we can trust our Father 100% of the time. With Him we never have to fear. Or worry. Or be anxious.
Finally, VBS reminds me of children’s eagerness to Learn. They raise their hands and want to be called on. They are excited. Alert. Enthused. Oh, to be like a child! Never let your excitement for God and His Word grow stale.
Matthew’s account records Jesus offering a serious and severe warning to anyone who would cause a child to be spiritually harmed (Matt 18:6-7). Don’t neglect the children. Or hurt them by a bad example. Or wound their conscience. Or crush their spirit.
When you see kids running around your church building. Laughing. Talking. Giggling. Playing? What do you see? I see tomorrow’s leaders. Elders. Deacons. Preachers. Bible Class teachers. And godly wives and mothers.
The Wellandport Christians demonstrate you don’t have to be a big church to put on a great VBS. You just need brothers and sisters who love Jesus. Love the Word. And love children.
Bring the children to Jesus! Watch them learn. And see what you can learn as well.
—Ken Weliever, The Preacherman