Sunday, July 19, 2009

VBS 09

This year instead of being the "Bible Story Teller" for PK-6 for Vacation Bible School at our church, my wife asked me to be the Bible Study Leader for 5-6. This is a... challenge. Even though I've taught 7-12 for 16 years now, this age level is a classroom-management... challenge.
Somehow, God will get us all through it.

The Concordia Publishing House (CPH) material this year is called "Gadget's Garage," because God's Always Doing Great Exciting Things (G.A.D.G.E.T.) Gadget is a slightly nerdy teenager who makes a robot named "Gizmo" out of spare parts in his garage.

The theme verse is Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." This is one of my personal favorites. I've written about it on this blog before. I like it because I think it explains the meaning of life. Eph 2:8-9 explain that we are saved only by God's grace through faith in Jesus, but verse 10 explains why God created us in the first place.

Our first Bible Study was on the creation story in Genesis 1-2. The memory verse that night was Psalm 139:10 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; works are wonderful"

The challenge from CPH was, how does God show His love for us in the creation story?
Whew, it never really occurred to me. I figured that this story was narrative, not Gospel.

I thought about explaining C.S. Lewis' 4 Loves; Storge (affection), Philia (friendship), Eros (romantic), and agapē (unconditional)- but I thought that might be a little complicated for 5th & 6th graders and still had no clue how to fit it into Gen 1-2.

Then it hit me Christian author Gary Chapman wrote a huge best seller called 'the Five Love Languages.' Words, Time, Touch, Service, and Gifts.

The CPH materials helped with this a little (even though they never mention the 5 Love languages directly). For one thing, they pointed out how God created everything except man and woman. Gen 1:3-25, every time He made something He used words, "let there be," and once He's made anything He used words again, "it is good." But then when He made us, He was hands on, you could say He used touch. It took time to do all this, 6 days and then He rested on the 7th- He took time to enjoy what He had made. That took care of three of the five love languages.

I also had the kids consider the order in which God created things. Humans were last. When you buy a new pet and bring it home from the pet store, what order do you do things? Generally people set up the aquarium before they go get the fish or turtle or lizard or snake, right? You may or may not bring a cat or dog home without setting up a bed and litter box first, but few people go get a hamster, rat, gunea pig, sheep, pig, horse, or cow without having a stall or corral or box or pen or hutch ready to go first. This may be arrogant, but I think the God started with the end in mind. I think He made all this night and day, heavens and earth, plants and animals stuff for people. That's service- come to think of it, it's also gifts. (Gen 1:26-29)

As a parent, I get frustrated when my kids leave their bikes out in the rain. I worked all those hours to earn the money and then we spent all that time picking out just the right one that you fit on just right and liked the looks of, then we spent all that time with the training wheels and running along side teaching you how to ride it and this is how my time, money and effort is repaid? Sitting there out on the sidewalk getting rained on so it can rust? Not to mention out in the open where anyone could steal it?

God must really be hurt and offended when we squander His gifts be being such poor stewards of His creation. Our first job was to take care of it- Gen 2:15 "God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

I think that being created in His image, His likeness (Gen 1:26-27) fits great with Eph 2:10, being created to do good works which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. He does great, amazing things, He made us to do great amazing things. He loves us in what He says to us, what He gives us, what He does for us, and by being with us and we should live our lives sharing out time, encouragement, service, and resources with others. That's what we're here for.

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