E-pistle July 24

This Little Light of Mine

What a great week!  140+ kids and over 60 volunteer leaders have filled every corner of the building since Monday morning.  This year’s VBS has been a good one!

Our junior high kids, 25 or so strong have filled their week with fun, service, and study, but are often “off-campus” to allow room for their younger brothers and sisters to enjoy their program of crafts, games, snacks, stories and singing.  They have learned that God is with us, God is powerful, God does what he says he’ll do, God gives new life and God care for us.  Bible stories have mostly been from the story of the Exodus with Thursday’s lesson from the gospel account of Jesus’ resurrection.

Each segment of the program has been well and lovingly led.  On Sunday you will get a “Crocodile Dock” music sampler as Jonathan leads the children’s story time at the 9:15 service.  How the kids (and the leaders) have loved singing time!  One of the things I have liked most about this year’s program has been the use of one those “golden oldie” VBS/campfire songs, “This Little Light of Mine.”  They’ve changed a few of the words and added some new hand motions, but it’s the same song I sang at summer camp.  The kids still love it.

During last week’s study leave, I read a lot about tradition and the importance of “traditioning” each new generation into the faith.  That has a lot to do with passing on the stories and the identity that we have in the Gospel.  It has to do with understanding the great cloud of witnesses that has gone before, the saints and martyrs who help us understand what it is to be a Christian. It has to do with realizing that I am not alone as a Christian nor am I the first to experience what I am experiencing.  Traditioning is profound and important work and, fascinated by the new, we aren’t as good at it as we used to be.

I think traditioning also has to do with passing on songs like “The Little Light of Mine” from one generation to the next.  There is something good and powerful about mom and dad and grandparents being able to say, “I know that one, too” as the whole family sings, “This little light of mine, I’m goin’ to let it shine…” Children need to know that they belong to something, indeed, Someone, bigger than themselves. 

What a great week.  Someday one of those first graders or fifth graders just may say to a child of their own, “I know that one…This little light of mine, I’m goin’ to let it shine.”

This week’s version has some wonderful new verses:  “Everywhere I go, I’m goin’ to let it shine…”  “Even when I’m afraid, I’m goin’ to let it shine…”  They did not sing “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m goin’ to let it shine…”

Whether they sang it or not, there was a lot of light out from under the bushel this week.  Thanks to all who helped let it shine.