Exile, Revelation, & God’s Birthday

Today we talked about the vision of the future God gave Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2.

Friday we talked about the vision of the future God gave Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2.

Last week I taught the Bible lesson rotation for the first through fifth graders at Vacation Bible School (VBS). My nephew came from Houston to join another youth from my church as my assistant teachers. We had a blast!

I was greatly encouraged by all the feedback on those lessons. We looked at the book of Daniel, adapting the VBS curriculum a bit (as usually happens when I teach). We went from the Babylonian Exile all the way through Daniel’s visions of the future, linking each lesson to a Christ-connection.

On Sundays I also teach second grade Sunday school. One of my kids this Sunday surprised me by asking if the oppression during the time of Judges was like the Exile. I was so impressed he not only remembered the word “exile” from Monday the week before, but also remembered what it meant.

I think the trickiest lesson was the last day. Kids don’t follow a three- or five-point lesson. Teaching kids requires only one main idea. It’s a one-point lesson. That wasn’t easy last Friday. The material covered the visions God gave Daniel of the future, Christ’s promises to come back one day, and His return as spelled out in Revelation. All of that for first through fifth graders! After rew0rking my lesson several times, I finally decided to link it all with “God always keeps His promises.”

The other challenge was that we had our final program that Friday. That day I had two classes that were older and younger kids combined so they could be ready to do their program for the parents during the last half-hour of VBS. We ended up splitting the combined classes into age groups. One half would come for the lesson with me while the other met in the “lion’s den” for small-group discussion. Halfway through our lesson time, they switched. It actually worked pretty well.

My mailbox was popular once again this year. The mailbox is one of the unique things I do at VBS. When kids arrive in the room, they have 1-5 minutes (depending on how early they arrive) to look though the books, maps, and charts in the room to answer the challenge question(s) of the day. (Wednesday was: “Tell me something new you learned about lions.”) Kids also have the opportunity to write down any questions they have and put them in my mailbox. I try to read through the creative spelling and answer them before we start our lesson for the day. Here are some of my favorites from this year:

  • What’s your favorite color?
  • Where do peacocks live?
  • Where is your dad? [This one made his day. Dad was my assistant teacher last year. Because of this note, he came to visit all the classes the final day of VBS.]
  • Was Jesus black or white?
  • When was God born? [Each year we also get variations on the Trinity question.]

I just get so pumped seeing kids and teachers excited about learning and sharing what they learn with others. For all that it wears me out, I love VBS!

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