Saturday, June 02, 2007

Who Thinks Peace?


Why do my friends think I am a martyr for teaching VBS?

Maybe because you could not pay them to do it. But that is not their gift and I know it. Mine is sharing what I love with people who I love. Where is the martyr in that?
Perhaps because in some parts of the world Christians are persecuted it seems risky to teach such controversial topics as Love, Mercy, Truth, Peace or Compassion.
I suppose even more subversive is to teach the process of making peace. That is also much harder to do. Perhaps the best we can do is to create climates where people learn to prefer peaceful solutions. And then we can begin to lead them toward creating peaceful alternatives.
One step at a time. But some of us have to take more steps to keep up.
Teaching children about Bible stories and history and geography surely gave a fresh perspective on situations in the Middle East.
Did Jesus get blisters on his feet from walking all over the Holy Land? Hm.
It also reminded me of the LAST time I taught VBS.
I was 15 years old and things were very different then. We did not use hi tech videos or DVDs to launch each day. I wonder if we anticipate short attention spans by building programs that only allow for twenty minutes together for each activity. I know it would seem Luddite to use a chalkboard and construction paper on a corkboard for the lesson, but I found myself wondering how much of the drama was really needed for a personal interaction with the children about faith.
Given a few extra minutes and a little less technology perhaps we could have a smaller footprint on our planet and a greater impact on our hearts and minds.
Why? Because we worked harder for it. Now there is a model for simplicity in a VBS setting. THAT seems like an oxymoron in this world of competitive marketing for our children's time. But maybe that is what we need to do more often.

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