As an individual in church leadership, I get caught up in the daily to-do list of “the job.” Since I’ve worked for the church for more than 20 years, I’ve shied away from becoming involved in local church ministry—because of potential conflict of interest, my schedule isn’t consistent enough to be reliable, or I just didn’t know where I could be of use. This past summer it helped to hear of a last-minute need that I could fill.
My daughter and granddaughter were attending Vacation Bible School (VBS) at the Sparks church. I was informed that the drama rotation was looking for actors to play Bible characters. The scripts were written, costumes were available, and I would only be needed for two nights. I said yes. It seemed easy enough. Then I read the script for the first night. I would be playing Mary Magdalene as she shared her sadness at watching the trial, crucifixion, and burial of Jesus.
I invited my mother to dress in costume, weep in sorrow, and ask my character for tissues as I told the story to each of the four age groups of children. Mom really added to the emotional depth and was a hit with the kids. Was my performance perfect? No. But then, we are our toughest critics and Satan loves to use our insecurities to discourage!
However, as with the crucifixion, those insecurities and negative thoughts were not the end of the story. During the second night, my character announced that Jesus had risen—a much more positive part that I could play with enthusiasm.
That evening as we drove home, my granddaughter sang in her sweet voice, “Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me.” I don’t know how lyricist Frederick Whitfield imagined the song to be performed, but let me tell you, I have heard the best rendition coming from the voice of a little one.
To those who use their time for the ministry of VBS, thank you! I know that after weeks of planning, exhaustion from being mindful of every detail, and using all your energy to keep up with the children, you might never want to do it again. But don’t give up! Keep planting the seeds of Jesus’s love in those little hearts and minds. Your efforts will make sure there is a large heavenly choir belting out songs to honor the One who loved us first, Jesus.
By Karen Schneider