A River of Living Water

Vacation Bible School at Laurel Heights has given us a Rolling River Rampage of a week to remember! Marvelous stories of Jesus, lively songs of trust and joy and faith, snacks, crafts, games, science, reflection, drama, and missional service in the community cascaded through those five days to present the gospel to our young disciples in wonderfully fresh and inviting ways. Planning, prayer, hard work, and enthusiasm on the part of so, so many flowed together beautifully. Suzanna Frey’s VBS leadership team, with Katie Myers as director and Abby Halim as co-director, was an exceptionally talented, and resourceful group. The wider circle of adults and youth who served brought myriad gifts and tremendous good spirit to the mix. I was taken with the extraordinary level of dedication and energy on the part of all these volunteers.

Dr. Frank Healy, who many know as the Laurel Heights VBS “science guy,” explained to me his sense of the relationship between science experiments and faith formation in a way I found very insightful. Beneath his fun and fascinating daily projects involving tiny ball bearings, bottle rockets, magnetic resistance, and potato-generated electricity is another curriculum even more foundational: the children’s experience of love, welcome, encouragement, and acceptance. In other words, alongside the gift of scientific exploration and discovery was the very best gift of our life together in Christ: experiencing the life-giving river of God’s grace and goodness.

graph2In one of Mr. Frank’s experiments, the children measured the level of resistance relative to the number of opposing magnets. The result was a pretty cool graph that happened to bear a mystical resemblance to … a river!

What I experienced being shared throughout the Rolling River Rampage reminded me of something Jesus once said: “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” VBS was a week of believers living out their faith, and of living water flowing from them: adults and youth trusting that God works through us to convey love and trust to children in our care; young missionaries putting their hands to the work of kindness and compassion in the community; and children learning to trust that God is real, as evidenced by the love, encouragement, and joy imparted by their teachers, leaders, and caregivers.

I am grateful for the lessons we all learned last week about God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ; and most especially for those whose gifted leadership led us down that river together.

Grace and peace.