Vacation Bible School is in full force this week at Christ Church. Children are everywhere in the mornings and clearly are having a great time!

When I was a kid, my parents sent me to just about every Vacation Bible School in town – I think they saw it as a chance to get me out of the house for yet another week. So, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic – that almost took care of half of the summer. One church opted to call it “Vacation Church School – because it’s about more than just the Bible!”

I recall one year at the Lutheran VBS. There was a closing service at which all of the parents were invited to attend – a type of graduation from VBS event. What I remember is that our age group recited John 3:16 as our “performance.” And, it was a different translation from what I had previously memorized at another VBS. All of the other age groups did skits or sang songs, but we just recited John 3:16. In hindsight, I wonder if we were just a horrible group of singers and that was the best the teachers thought they could get out of us.

The Roman Catholic church was just a block away from where I lived. I could walk to and from it easily even at a young age. So, that camp was a regular activity. Each day, we’d turn and face this picture of God and recite the Lord’s Prayer. One year, I asked my mom why we didn’t have a picture of God in our church or home. She told me no one knows what God looks like. I told her that couldn’t be true because the Catholic Church had pictures of Him everywhere. She asked me what he looked like – I stated that he was white, wore a white dress type of thing, had white hair, and a little white Jewish cap on his head. She explained to me that that was Pope John Paul II, not God. That was the last summer my parents sent me to their VBS.

Then there was a new non-denominational church that held a VBS in which they spared NO expense. They created one room to show us what Heaven would be like. It was great. There was candy everywhere, video games, cartoons playing on THREE different televisions, and the room smelled great. Of course, they also had a “Hell” room. This one was dark, really hot, there was smoke everywhere (dry ice), recorded sounds of people screaming, and someone dressed up to look like a demon wandering around making weird sounds. When we left that room, we were asked to fill out on a sheet of paper which room we wanted to spend eternity in. I checked the “Heaven” box. I told my mom about that day, and I didn’t go back to finish the rest of the week even though I was looking forward to “pool day” at the end of the week.

All in all, I loved VBS. I knew most of the kids in our community so I’d see many of them at each one. And, every one of them offered Kool-Aid (the legitimate liquid kind) which I loved. I’m sure I learned something about faith though I can’t tell you now what it was. But I do remember it was church, and it was fun.