FROM THE BISHOP
R. LAWSON BRYAN
Recently, on our early morning walks, Sherrill and I have witnessed a beautiful sight: long lines of cars at local churches. That’s when we realized that in-person Vacation Bible School is happening all over South Georgia. We thank God as we watch adult and youth VBS workers arrive at the church an hour or two before the children get there. Having taught VBS for decades Sherrill and I know firsthand the educational benefit for children who have Bible stories taught over a five-day period. The singing, play time, and crafts all serve to reinforce the Biblical teaching. VBS may be a child’s first experience of what it means to be Alive Together in Christ,” and it’s a good and joyful thing.
Our 4-year-old grandson, John Philip, just attended his first Vacation Bible School. The memory verse for the week was from Isaiah 60:1 in the Living Bible translation: "Arise, my people! Let your light shine for all the nations to see! For the glory of the Lord is streaming from you.” To get a head start on learning the verse we decided to act it out. Even 2-year-old Cece joined in. First, we were seated and then jumped to our feet as we said, "Arise, my people!"
Immediately, Sherrill turned on a battery-powered candle and we said, "Let your light shine for all to see!" We rehearsed it several times and they really got into the jumping up part. When Philip and Brittany came to pick John Philip and Cece up, we performed Isaiah 60:1 with great energy!
I thank God for the privilege of teaching the Bible to children in a way that they can experience something of the power of Holy Scripture. It reminds me that local churches play a crucial role in the spiritual formation of children in our communities. I hope that the interruption caused by the global pandemic has made us freshly aware of the importance of our local churches. As we introduce children to Jesus Christ and to the Christian faith we are preparing the way for a better future for families, for communities, and for the world. May this summer’s VBS be the start of a renewed commitment to all the children in our communities. I especially encourage parents to follow up on VBS by having their children in church every week.
Want to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? Focus on children. Immediately.
Alive Together at the Table,
R. Lawson Bryan