“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matthew 18:3
Oh how encouraging it is to hear deep truths spoken and understood by young children! Today was gospel day at VBS, and I was richly rewarded by my preschool group.
During the lesson time, we circled up to talk about bad things we have done (sin). I had a marker to draw a frowny face on each child’s hand after he or she shared their sin with the group. Immediately, Andrew looked horrified. “I don’t want that on my hand!” he exclaimed. Taking the opportunity, I explained that the frowny face represents our sin. None of us wants to see our sin, but there’s nothing we can do about it. So we went around the circle. Joshua’s face was somber. He didn’t speak a word when I asked him what bad thing he has done; he simply moved his hands as if he were pushing someone, and that was his sin. After each child shared, we talked about how Jesus died on the cross and takes away all of our sins when we believe in Him! One by one I cleaned off their frowny faces with a wet wipe to show how Jesus makes us clean. Then we celebrated new life by eating strawberries cut in half to look like a heart. :)
Later on we were talking about our Bible verse and what it means to have everlasting life: “Lead me along the path of everlasting life!” (Psalm 139:24) My kids’ attention was starting to fade, but I got them to do the motions with me. As we opened up our arms wider and wider, I told them that everlasting means forever and ever – never stopping. Suzanne then had all the kids come over to a plastic swimming pool on the side of the room. She held up a pitcher of water and said, “This is like your life.” As she poured it out, she described things you do in your lifetime. “But then what happened?” she asked when the water was gone. “It runs out!” Samuel shouted out. “Just like the pitcher of water runs out, our lives do not last forever…but with Jesus we can have everlasting life!” She turned on a fountain in the middle of the pool that kept running and running. During craft time, we made cards to send to missionary kids across the world. Joshua took a blue crayon and scribbled all down the middle. Then he turned to me and said, “It’s a fountain!” I talked to him about Jesus being the Fountain of Life and wrote a little description in his card. :)
The preschool game today involved a beach ball, shaving cream, and water (and a water fight afterwards!). We leaders took a clean beach ball and covered it with icky shaving cream to represent our sins. Each child was given a water bottle to spray the beach ball and make it clean – like Jesus takes our sins away and makes us clean.
There was a skit at the end of the day that my kids loved. Ben (the leader) tied a ribbon to a post at the back of the sanctuary and stretched it out past the stage at the front and through a door outside. He told us that everlasting life goes on and on forever past what we can see. He chose a small girl, a teenager, and an adult to stand at points along the ribbon – this represents our life. Then he cut the ribbon and explained that we all die and we can’t reach everlasting life. BUT he tied the ribbon around a big wooden cross on the stage and connected it to the part that went on and on – showing that when we believe in Jesus we can have everlasting life. Samuel turned to me and asked, “Is someone going to die on the cross?” I said, “No, Jesus already did!” Joshua, who had been listening in, motioned with his hands from his head to his feet and added, “To wash us and make us clean!”