Last week I had the pleasure of helping out with VBS at my church. This is always a crazy fun (and exhausting) week, and this year was no exception. I was part of the stage crew, which meant I spent my mornings singing, dancing and doing bizarre skits in front of 300 buzzing children.
On Thursday, the Bible teachers asked me to play the role of Peter. I agreed, not realizing that I had consented to participate in the most INTENSE STORYTELLING EVER. I was Peter. I loudly denied Jesus three times. I was sad and downtrodden. The lights were off in the room. It was heavy.
At one point, Peter got very upset and said over and over how he blew it and let Jesus down. The kids were then invited to tell Peter what God wants him to know. Teeny children said things like, “Jesus loves you no matter what!”, “Jesus forgives you even if you do something bad!”, “Jesus is still your friend!” Hearing simple truths proclaimed by little people never fails to give me goosebumps.
The leaders were then asked to look at each of their kids in the eye and said, “[Name], Jesus loves you and forgives you.” In the midst of all of this, we overhear a teenage leader praying with one of the teeny people in his group. They were asking Jesus to forgive him and asking that he be his friend forever. Yes! Hallelujah!
Five year olds get it!
We complicate it. It was so overwhelmingly clear this week that I unnecessarily make it into this whole big dramatic and complicated thing. I want to sit and write a novel about the love of God today, but I don’t need to. Instead, I’ll leave you with this one simple fact:
Jesus loves you and forgives you.
(Photo of 2/3 of my brothers’ offspring, courtesy of Christine Reid Photography)