Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Have I told you all how much I loved going to Vacation Bible School when I was a child?

Well, if I haven't, you should know that going to VBS was the highlight of my summer for several consecutive summers. There were a few years when I went to the one at my church and one at the big new Church of Christ in my hometown. I don't know exactly what it was, but I loved going.

Brendan is going to VBS this week at our church. It's a very different experience than the one I remember, but even better.

At our church it isn't actually called Vacation Bible School. It's called Kaleidoscope.

It's a huge program with probably 200 kids ranging in age from 4 to 12. Each age/class is designated as a different country or ethnic group. The children spend the week learning about their country and how Catholics in that country or that particular group worship God. If Christianity is not the dominant religion in that country, they may briefly touch on the other religions and how they worship God. They learn about the saints from that country. Culture. Food. Art and Music. It's really neat.

Last year – Brendan's first attending – he was a Native American. This year, his class is Ireland. I've loved hearing him tell me about how St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland with his drum; about how a leprechaun has wrecked the classroom every day when the kids have left for snack time; his interpretation of the story about Jesus and Zacchaeus (it involved Zacchaeus stealing everyone's money and Jesus telling him to give it back.).

I don't guess he's going to become Pope overnight or anything, but I love that this experience has him thinking about and relating to God on a level he can understand. The one thing I really dislike about our church is that there is no Sunday School for children who haven't started Kindergarten yet. And I haven't met a 4-year or 5-year old yet who can sit through a homily and get much out of it. So, Kaleidoscope offers a terrific opportunity for the younger kids to connect in a way that makes sense to them.

Of course, Brendan tends to focus on the outrageous aspects of any thing he learns or hears. This week I've had to answer questions about who killed Jesus and why, whether or not St. Patrick was killed, as well as whether or not a leprechaun would wreck Santa's workshop. He also informed me that Santa has a factory, not a workshop.

I can't wait to hear what he comes home with today.

1 comment:

Kel said...

Kids! ha, they can keep you rolling with laughter for days. I remember when my daughter (went to christian preschool/daycare) would come home with stories...it was adorable. Funniest thing was having to explain to my husband what she was talking about because he didn't remember those stories!
~K