Every year since I can remember my church has had a Vacation Bible School. I remember being put on with some parents and nuns. The nuns were kind of scary because they never smiled at us. VBS was all class and music, that’s all.
During this year’s VBS, I worked in the kitchen making sure everyone got fed so little tummies wouldn’t growl before the kids got home. We worked hard but the most important part of the week was feeding the children new information about their spiritual lives.
Our program was called “Tracking the Mary: The Mysteries and Messages.” It was such a creative way to teach our kids about the Marian apparitions that as Catholics we hold dear to our hearts.
And O.K, let us just get this out of way. No we do not worship Mary and we were not teaching the kids that. We do put Mary in high esteem. Tell me who else carried the Son of God? Mary allows us to continue our spiritual journey to be like God wants us to be and reminds us exactly how to do it through her actions. She is kind of like the quarterback who leads us in for a touchdown within our lives so the coach can be proud.
The theme was guided by a train that took the kids on a journey each night to visit far away lands where Mary showed us that she is a reminder of the solemnity of our Christian lives in the kindnesses shown to others.
The lands began with France to discover Bernadette in Lourdes in 1858 (Our Lady of Lourdes); then on to hear about the kids at Fatima in 1917 (Our Lady of Fatima); leaving there and arriving at Mexico in 1531 to encounter Juan Diego and find out how his uncle was cured (Our Lady of Guadalupe). After all that, the children heard about how 15 people saw Mary deep in prayer in Ireland in 1879 (Our Lady of Knock). Finally coming to the end of our trip at the 13th century in England with Simon Stock who was given the gift of a Scapular (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel).
All of these gave the kids great stories to reflect on and think of how important our God is that he has given us inspirational places to visit.
But with all this in addition to dinner, music, art and the class, I guess the minds of our little vacationers were in a whirlwind. I say this because when I quizzed my son, Crawford about what he had learned at Bible school this is what I got.
“Mama, see ... this is all about Mary.” Oooo! I was so proud. He had learned something about his faith. But Crawford continued and said, “...And it seems she took a trip.” Yes folks, my heart sank. He got it partially but missed the mark by a little.
Believe it or not, since then I have heard him tell his daddy about things he learned. He has talked about the Rosary, Mary and prayer, so it isn’t all bad.
Next year, maybe he will realize that he is the one on the trip, learning about God and his faith. You know everyday we all learn a little something new. Choo choo, the train is leaving the station.