Parable Picnics Vacation Bible School
Summer is a picnic season. Sunshine and breezes invite us to eat outdoors, go for a walk, pitch a tent in the woods, and seek new adventures.
Many of our adventures and gatherings look quite different this summer, but we can still gather online to share a virtual picnic together. Starting this Tuesday, we will meet weekly at 11 am on Facebook to share Jesus’ parables and maybe even a glass of lemonade.
Jesus used stories throughout his ministry to teach lessons and encourage people to change their behavior. He chose everyday objects, professions, and occurrences to demonstrate those ideas. This method helped his followers to understand complicated ideas about the kingdom of God.
God created us to love stories. Whether it is a familiar book read at bedtime with the kids or a favorite tale retold around the dinner table, we relish the words, suspense, characters, plot twists, and emotion. Stories engage our imagination. Parables are important to stoke the fires of our moral imagination and to bring the reality of the kingdom of God into our lives. They can help us to imagine the kingdom in a way that makes sense to us by bringing big, far-off ideas close to us in the shape of mustard seeds and pearls.
This week we will hear the story of the good Samaritan. It will be our opportunity to see the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and remind ourselves how surprising it was to watch the priest and Levite walk by the injured man.
Kids of all ages (and their adults) are invited to join us. If you want to take the online event to an in-real-life experience, look for the workbook that accompanies the online video each week. There you will find ways to “extend the adventure” with crafts, recipes, service projects, and activities. It also contains open-ended questions to get everyone thinking and talking.
Sharing stories is an important part of our lives. Joining together this summer – even in an online sort of way – connects us. It allows us to build a shared narrative together so that our families and community will be even stronger when we are all together again.