Where do I start? What about where we start as a VBS team in the journey that begins with a blank sheet of paper and ends roughly 18 months later as we wait in the wings, holding our breath, to see if all our VBS friends will see what we saw, feel what we felt, and catch the vision for the new VBS season.
I truly believe that God has a plan for each year’s VBS that includes the specific message He wants delivered through the Bible content and housed in a particular theme. God is also continuing to teach me much about what it means to “seek” His will until we find it. The theme for VBS 2011 was no exception. Here’s a tiny insight on how we landed where we did.
A New York theme had been explored many times in the past, but it never rose to the top because it was not the theme for that time. When 2011 was in development, the easily recognizable icons of the largest city in the United States stayed at the forefront. The Bible content keep drawing parallels to images associated with New York City.
The images of millions of faces filling the subways and crowding the sidewalks often filled my mind. Yet, I felt God’s still, small voice whispering over and over, “I know EACH one by name. I know the smallest details of their lives and I LOVE them.” How easy it is to overlook individuals in a crowd or to feel anonymous in the masses. But, God, in His infinite compassion, sent His Son to be the Savior of each one.
Times Square is known as “the crossroads of the world.” Our world desperately needs to cross paths with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His love for them. At so many intersections in my own life, God has placed a significant person or event that changed my life direction. Can you relate?
New York is a dream destination for many people, while others would do whatever it takes to avoid it. It reminds me so much of the Day 4 Bible story about the Samaritan woman. Many people of that day walked miles out of their way to avoid Samaria. Jesus, however, took time to start up a conversation with the outcast of outcasts as He spoke to the woman who came alone to draw water. Her simple invitation to those in Samaria to “Come see a man…” resulted in many of those in Samaria becoming believers.
In three short months, it will be VBS time at my own church. I will join the ranks of teachers around the world preparing to share the Good News through VBS. The kids around me will start belting out the theme song and I’ll get all misty-eyed. God has given me a front row seat throughout this amazing adventure. I am so blessed!