Genesis 28:10-19a, Lectionary 16 A, July 20, 2014
Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
Our first lesson today tells of the dream that Jacob had after he tricked his father into giving him the blessing. Jacob used a rock for a pillow and dreamed of a ladder reaching to heaven. Well, this week at vacation Bible school, Dr. Paws had her own experience of God.
Dr. Paws left her home near the zoo and went to Zion. She came to the front pew of the sanctuary and almost immediately fell asleep!
As soon as she closed her eyes, she experienced visions of some Weird Animals. She saw Axl, an axolotl salamander, who told her, “Even when you’re left out…Jesus loves you!”
Axl showed Dr. Paws all that happened during the first day of VBS. He showed her children acting out how they sometimes feel lonely at school and at home.
She saw children having Bible adventures by learning about leprosy and how people in Jesus’ time were often left out of the community.
But Jesus couldn’t let people be left out! He healed them of their leprosy so they could be reunited with their friends.
Axl even showed Dr. Paws the volunteers playing games! Certainly nobody at Princeton’s VBS was ever left out.
Then Dr. Paws stirred from her sleep. Almost as soon as she moved, she fell asleep again.
Fern the leafy sea dragon whispered in her ear, “Even though you’re different…Jesus loves you!”
Fern continued, “No matter how different you may look or feel, you are beautiful in God’s eyes.”
The children learned that the Samaritan woman that Jesus met at the well was really different.
All she wanted was to fill her bucket full of water, but Jesus offered her living water instead!
These kids are all different in many ways, in size and color, age and ability, yet God loves each one of them.
Nothing, no difference or disability, can separate anybody from God’s love.
Yes, even you. God loves you!
Dr. Paws awoke and looked for God, but she didn’t find him. She tried to watch for God, but before she knew it she was asleep again.
Her visions intensified as she saw Milton, a star-nosed mole. He loudly proclaimed, “Even when you don’t understand…Jesus loves you!”
Then, when kids have an idea of who Jesus is, then they can experience Jesus’ love in their daily lives.
Just as Jesus washed his disciple’s feet, Milton showed Dr. Paws how these children had their feet washed too.
After reliving this important moment from Jesus’ ministry, the children were surprised by the depths of God’s love.
Milton showed Dr. Paws how the children came into vacation Bible school alone and barefoot,
Now Dr. Paws was a little nervous about all of these visions that she was having. She wanted to hide, so she curled up behind the altar. Little did she know that the altar was the holiest place in the church!
God revealed Shred to Dr. Paws. This tenrec showed her that, “Even though you do wrong…Jesus loves you!”
This day of VBS was not all fun and games. Before the kids could celebrate, they had to get sad first.
We can all celebrate that Christ is alive full of love for us. This is the good news that Dr. Paws needed to hear!
Now unafraid of this God of love, she came out from behind the altar. She picked up the VBS music dvd and used it as a pillow. She had one more vision to experience!
This time, Iggy the frilled lizard came to Dr. Paws. He told her, “Even when you’re afraid…Jesus loves you!”
These kids certainly did not look afraid when they learned about Ananias! They searched for this Bible character throughout the sanctuary.
On this last day of vacation Bible school, the kids couldn’t help but sing and dance to all of their favorite songs.
They enjoyed making crafts and learning about the many missions that they supported.
These children certainly were not afraid as they played games as they waited to switch classes.
Knowing how much Jesus loves them, they couldn’t help but smile.
And they are excited as they share that Jesus loves you too!
Gently coming out of her deep sleep, Doctor Paws was mumbling, “Jesus loves me…Jesus loves you…Jesus loves us…”
Waking up, she realized how special this past week was for the thirty or so children who attended the Princeton Vacation Bible School. So excited about God’s love for everyone, she popped that DVD into the projector, turned on “Jesus Loves Me,” and danced along! Amen!