When you think of VBS the picture above is probably not an image that pops into your head, but I would like to share with you how this scene fit into our’s this year. As you know, there are many different ways that children (and adults) connect with God. Exuberant worship is one way that children typically enjoy, and our VBS day started with that. Serving others gives children purpose and builds their self-worth. Did that. Meaning filled games. Check. Hands on crafts that actually connect. Got it. Silence, reflection and meditation [No, I am not kidding!] That is the part represented by this picture.
Take one large adult classroom with no exterior windows, subtract chairs, add rope lights and voila, you have a labyrinth! Our labyrinth experience was a guided one. Traditionally, labyrinths are sites for individual journeys. The path can be a simple spiral as was ours, or a more intricate pattern. The general movement of a labyrinth is that your journey takes you away from the world (typical retreat mindset) as you walk toward the center of the circle and the heart of God. While in the center, centered on the self-God relationship, one seeks direction, refreshment and renewal, that is then carried back out of the circle for re-entry into the world as one prepared to face anew the challenges and opportunities of life.
The framework of our labyrinth journeys was provided by each day’s Bible story. Each year we focus on one act of “His-Story” and this year our focus was the Church. The stories included Pentecost (Acts 2), the first Samaritan converts (Acts 8) and Cornelius the first Gentile convert (Acts 10). [Scholar F.F. Bruce refers to these as the Jewish, Samaritan and Gentile Pentecosts respectively.]
Over the next few days I will share with you our three labyrinth meditations. It is my prayer that each of these meditations will draw you to the heart of God and into the center of His story thus giving you a sense of your place in His kingdom and your purpose in his mission.