"Polar Extreme" was our theme this year. I wasn't too sure about it as it was from the Regular Baptist Press. Had some issues with some of the theology but it was easy enough to bring into the Lutheran Church. I know that some will take offense at that statement but please don't. That is just a fact. We are not into decision theology which was a part of the VBS, but it was easy to overcome that and put the right emphasis on the working of the Spirit to bring us to faith.
I enjoy VBS. It is a wonderful time to connect with children and their family. I have always enjoyed VBS. It gives me a chance to step out of the ordinary and bring a little joy and wonder into the lives of the children. It is amazing when you step out dressed in a coat and hat, holding a penguin that played in the street and telling the children how upset you were. They look at you with wonder. Then to be able to tell them that you were wrong and needed the penguin to forgive you. And they sit there wide-eyed in wonder, hearing about the forgiveness of Jesus for you and for your penguin. That is a moment that makes all the effort, all the challenges of the ministry worthwhile. If you can touch the heart of one little child, everything that you do is worthwhile. All the frustrations, all the struggles, all your inabilities as a pastor/teacher suddenly don't matter. All that matters is that one child, seeing the wonder of the love of Christ, the sweetness of forgiveness, the joy of the Gospel and the life in Christ. There is nothing better.
And boy does it tire you out. I sit here tonight worn out. All week, I have poured out all I have to the children, the Spirit has been filling me up and I have been pouring it out to them (and to the children). While He has filled me up to overflowing, it still takes a lot of me. I am poured out for the gospel - maybe that is the spiritual talk that Paul talks about when he says he is about to be poured out. (OK, I know that he was talking about his life ending but sometimes I think it might be this as well. I pour myself out each and every time I in front of the people. The Spirit fills me. I pour it out. And when it is done, I feel like a rag that has been wrung out and hung up to dry.)
I love VBS. I look forward to it every year. Next year is coming. We have a lot of days to go through till we get there, but it will come. Thanks to everyone who worked, who taught, who gave cookies, brought children and loved each child. God bless you all. Extreme Joy, Worship, Trust, Obedience and Trust. All of me all out for God. Yes, I love Him with all my heart, body, mind and soul. Put my strength into the mix, and that is what we taught our children.