It’s Vacation Bible School time at the Baptist church where I grew up attending and Max is having a great week. They had so many kindergartners sign up for VBS that two classes were needed. I was super excited that they put him in a combination 5/6 year old class that is smaller than the other class. I was also happy that one of the teachers was Mr. Jordan, who was a favorite teacher of mine back in the day. He has the same deep, authoritative voice I remember, but now he has salt and pepper hair to go with it. He must be in his sixties by now and he’s spending his retirement days as a VBS teacher, walking on his knees with his arm wrapped around the kids, wearing a huge grin.
Max and his friends are learning about choices this week (the theme is SonWorld – an amusement park theme – by Gospel Light). Monday was Choose to Believe. Tuesday was Choose to Act. Today was Choose to Forgive.
Excitedly, Max told me about all the fun he had today as we were unloading the dishwasher together. He seems to love everything about VBS, especially the music, games, and Bible Stories. The stories are coming to life in an exciting way. Today they learned about the Prodigal Son and how when finally came back home and asked his father to forgive him, even though it was probably hard to do, his dad didn’t scold him but instead welcomed him and threw a big ol’ party.
You know how the story goes. It’s the perfect story that explains how God loves us. No matter what we’ve done in the past. He always offers forgiveness and a brand new start. That is what Christianity is (should be) all about. Everything in the Bible points to this. We all need forgiveness. Through Jesus we are forgiven. Period. Let’s have a party.
I liked hearing Max re-tell the story to me. We both got animated as we dramatized the ending – the father running towards the son with his arms wide open saying “I forgive you! I forgive you!” I was proud that MY son knew this story. MY son understood about forgiveness. MY son got it.
Yeah, he got it all right. Not five minutes afterward, when my back was turned, as he was putting the silverware away, for no reason at all, he took a table knife from the dishwasher basket and began carving out the side of the kitchen drawer.
For which made me crazy mad.
For which quick thinking, self control, and appropriate consequences were necessary.
For which he asked forgiveness and I offered it. Not because either of us wanted to. But because it’s the right thing to do. And it’s because God always forgives us. Period.
Today’s VBS lesson on forgiveness came at a good time for both of us. And now I have a permanent reminder of that lesson every time I open the silverware drawer.