The kids were certainly happy to return to VBS this evening. They got points for wearing a hat and bringing a Bible. I gave Ella a copy of Peterson's "The Message," Kenny took a Catholic edition of the GNB in two-tone leather, Chris brought my compact NRSV that I used in Israel ten years ago and Tim carried a flashy NASB '95 paperback, lovingly covered in clear contact paper. Also, we brought more change for the missionaries in New Hampshire but none of them had memorized their Bible verse!
The pastor's composure was better even though he had spent most of the night and a better part of the day with his employee who had broken his leg the night before. We parents gathered together and walked as a group across the street to the Sunday School rooms in the church. He gave us a tour of the church and the rooms, the nursery was really cute. We opened our work packets and he scrounged up Bibles from the church pews for those who had forgotten theirs.
The activity was all multiple choice questions, like a middle schooler's homework assignment, on Christology. Questions like, "Which verse says Jesus is God?" with four scripture references. There were more than four of us, so he couldn't assign them one apiece. Instead it was hodgepodge, "Who has Titus 1:3? Does anyone have Romans 14:18-19?" There were many times I opened my mouth to read the verse when someone else piped up, "Oh, I have that one, shall I read it?"
One man didn't know John from 1 John and confessed, "Usually my wife looks these up for me." But his wife wasn't there. Another lady said, "It would take forever to look all these up!" Meanwhile, I'm halfway down the page, especially because I knew a few without looking them up. When reading Hebrews 1:8, she pronounced "scepter" as "skepter" and her husband needed help reading "Bethlehem Ephrathah" from Micah 5:2.
Giving us time to look up the verses, he would talk about, well, I don't know what. I wasn't really paying attention. Maybe things like, "Oh, that's a good verse, such a good verse" and "Oh, why did God put that in there, it's so hard to do!" And, like any grade school teacher, he can't keep quiet long enough for his class to do their work in peace.
He passed around samples of their Sunday School programs, for children and adults. The kids' is Patch the Pirate written by a man who had cancer in his eye and had it removed. The publisher, Majesty Music, in Greenville, SC also provided the hymnals in the pew in front of me. A reference in our work packet was made to Bob Jones University, in Greenville, SC. The adult materials looked a little more interesting (chapter 1 in PDF).
Tim told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was not to sign him up for Sunday School. I wouldn't dream of it, he can be sure.
We walked back across the street and, by this time, it was dark, being well after 8pm. He said they usually hold VBS in July when it's still light after 8 but this year they picked August way back in February and didn't think about the shorter days. I'm glad they didn't hold it in July. But we'll skip it tomorrow because there's a parents' picnic at the kids' camp and I wouldn't miss that for anything.