Good morning, Hope!
Let me tell you a story ...
Twenty-five summers ago, my wife Sally and I were busy planning Hope's first-ever
Vacation Bible School.
We bought VBS resources from the official Lutheran publishing house. I studied the daily themes assigned for me to teach the kids. Sally (the accomplished musician in our family) started learning the included-in-the-VBS-kit songs, which were fine ...
But Sally is a courageous woman with a spiritual gift for discernment, and she knew the provided music was not the right fit for our brand-new tiny church. So, she scrapped it and created her own VBS music (on a homemade cassette!) by combining familiar and catchy tunes with Bible-based lyrics.
On Day 1 of VBS, Sally arrived at the church with a plan. She would lead a song from her boombox for the 20 or so VBS kids who showed up, and - between songs - I would teach ("fill time" like a radio DJ) on the Bible theme for the day. I quickly learned to keep one ear on the whir and squeaks of the cassette in the background as Sally punched the fast-forward and rewind buttons ... until finally with some sort of mysterious superhero sense of timing, she'd hit "PLAY," and right on cue we'd all start singing-a-long to a new song!
Over and over again, day after day, all week long, we followed this same routine ... and by Friday (the final day of VBS), 20 kids had become 50 (because they wanted their friends to hear all the "cool" music they were learning at church). This summer, over 6,000 kids will take part in VBS at Hope! Sally and a creative team of volunteers are just about done making their 26th VBS tape of Bible verses set to "cool" music ... and I'll be there to "fill time" between songs.
Stories like that (read, heard, or viewed) have the potential to move us way past a simple description of
what happened to
why it matters ... connecting us to bigger things, shared experiences, hopes and dreams, even sacred bonds. Stories told well can even reveal higher purpose, and the presence of a holy God who writes them all deep into our hearts, minds, and souls ...
This weekend, I will preach (Jeremy and Richard, too) on the power of God's love, with a big assist from a modern-day parable about a strong and courageous superhero named
! It's a really good story, and a critically acclaimed movie ... and it's all part of our new post-Easter
Faith on Film
sermon series, exploring the intersections of Scripture & cinema (modern-day parables that illustrate biblical truth).
Bring a Bible & your friends. We'll provide the popcorn (really). Come & see!