Summary: This is a sermon summarizing the stories learned by the children during Vacation Bible School, looked at through the "tests" that each individual endured. How, through the power given by God, ordinary people accomplished extraordinary things. Stories in

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August 18, 2002

VBS Wrap-Up Sermon

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Late Friday night, I was in this room recording the opening for this morning’s radio broadcast.

We had just completed this years VBS and I think I can speak for all those that participated…at least all of those over…..and I’ll be kind….30….I was beat. I was exhausted.

I walked over to the Altar and retrieved the copies of last week’s bulletin that I had left in my hymnal and looked at the front cover. I don’t know if many of you remember last week’s sermon, let alone last weeks bulletin cover, so I had it blown up…..I couldn’t help but laugh. There were more than a few times this past week where I think those very words, Lord Save Me, were uttered by some of the adults helping at VBS.

I say that mostly in jest. However, there are perhaps some people sitting here this morning or listening to the radio broadcast that might think of VBS as a waste of time and energy and talent and funds.

A few common quips that you hear about VBS is that is primarily a baby-sitting chore that the church carries out during the summer months, or that the kids don’t really learn anything, or couldn’t we do something better in terms of evangelism.

I’m going to give you three quick answers to those statements.

Is it a baby-sitting function? Who cares! The children are in the House of the Lord!

The kids don’t learn anything. That’s wrong….just ask the kids.

Couldn’t we do something better? For this one, I think I’ll quote Jesus. From the Gospel of Matthew 19:14: Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

For those of you here and those of you listening at home, I would like to share briefly what happened during the course of our week of VBS.

The “title” of this year’s program was Godzwerkus Circus. The theme was a “circus school”, if you will, where young people were taught the basics of circus performing. These circus acts all required certain skills such as weightlifting, to build up your strength. There was also tightrope walking, twirling fiery batons, clowns and their makeup, and of course, lion taming.

I can tell by the looks on your faces that you’re wondering what that has to do with the Bible. After all, it is Vacation BIBLE School.

Well, each one of these skills or traits was related to a Biblical story, a Biblical character.

I’m going to tell you a little about each one of these stories, but I want to do it in the light of phrase that Martin Luther used, "oratio, meditatio, tentatio", that’s Latin for prayer, study, testing. Prayer and study sound great, though we don’t nearly do enough of either one. But testing means suffering and humiliation and bearing the cross, and nobody wants that.

So I thought this morning we would look at the stories the young people heard this past week in relation to testing. How were these individuals tested in their relationship to God?

The first story is a well-known story about a well-known individual. At the time this story took place, however, this person wasn’t well known at all. In fact, he was just a young boy who tended his father’s sheep.

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