This has been quite a week for Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Zionsville Presbyterian Church where our daughter, Kristin, is on staff and works hard with an entire team to ensure a successful experience for the kids. Jill, our daughter from Oklahoma, decided to stay in town and help out again, as she has done the last several years, and all four of our grandchildren are involved as well. Two are helpers and the other two are still young enough to attend as participants. Even Kristin’s husband, Chip, was there to help out. Normally, he has to work later in the day and isn’t available to attend but this week, he has been fortunate to be done early.
Then, to our surprise, our son Andrew walked in as Tuesday evening was getting under way. It was great to see him and he expressed a desire to see what was going on with the rest of the family and the VBS program. Each evening the program starts out with singing and then dismissal into groups as the kids experience stories and crafts related to the courage of Daniel during his captivity in Babylon.
When they all came back together for the community portion of the program, I was struck by the camaraderie of the volunteers who had prepared the dinner, made the crafts, set up the physical locations and took charge of registration, the collection of funds and every other small item you can think of to help ensure the success of VBS.
And as I glanced around the auditorium, I noticed that every single member of our nuclear family was in the building. Kristin was leading the final portion of the show for the evening, all four grandkids were there, Jill was helping with make-up for the characters, Andrew and Janet were helping with security and even Chip was floating around helping whoever needed assistance. I would be surprised if there were any other families who were there in force making sure that the kids had a great time.
To see how well everyone got along and to experience the friendliness of the volunteers and staff was amazing. I don’t know if I have ever experienced the kind of connectivity, community and caring that we witnessed this week. Even the goal of raising money to help feed children from Haiti was universally accepted by the kids and staff alike. In fact, we raised enough money to feed 375 Haitian children for an entire year. All in all, it was a delightful experience, and we are already blocking off the calendar for next year!
I wonder if that is what it was like at Pentecost. All the believers were together in one place at one time, kind of like our family, and everyone shared with everyone else. We don’t know everything that happened at the birth of the Acts 2 Church but the Scripture does give us the flavor of the crowd and some of the things that happened.
Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, is the author of our verse for tonight. He tells us, in Acts 2:43-45, “A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.” That sounds like what happened at VBS this week!
My encouragement this evening is that God rejoices when we set aside our differences and work in unison for His kingdom. My prayer is that as a country, we can unify our actions in such a way as to restore dignity, respect and decorum to our interactions with one another. Something tells me that God and the rest of the Trinity would rejoice! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…