John 3:16
by Jennifer Cohron
Jun 30, 2013 | 2934 views | 0 0 comments | 139 139 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Cohron
Jennifer Cohron
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The Cohrons have been in vacation Bible school this week.

This was not only Wyatt’s first VBS but mine as well. I wasn’t even familiar with the concept before joining the paper.

My first year here, I noticed that church announcements came into the office on a steady basis until summer started. Then we were flooded with flyers about events with names so crazy I knew they couldn’t be revivals.

Our VBS was called “Gotta Move! Keepin’ In Step with the Spirit.”

I’ve talked with a few other people who went to VBS in their youth. Most of their memories seem to be negative ones, mainly due to boredom.

However, I’m told that VBS has changed quite a bit since those days.

“High energy” is the only way to describe our VBS experience. In fact, it was a bit much for Wyatt at times.

“Mommy, too loud!” he yelled in my ear one night during the music portion.

The opening skit involved a make-believe cooking show called “Extreme Cuisine.”

After the main two hosts were cast, Zac volunteered for the remaining bit parts. His acting resume now includes appearances as the Pie Boss, Iron Chef Donut and Bobby Mays.

The night that he was Iron Chef Donut, Zac padded his skinny frame with one of our couch pillows so he would look the part.

Unfortunately, the pillow didn’t fill him out in the correct proportions and he ended up looking like he was hiding Spongebob Squarepants under his apron.

On the final night, a little girl got to throw a pie in Zac’s face as a reward for winning the penny drop. Unfortunately, this was one of the evenings that I was not able to attend.

Because I didn’t know how many sessions I could make, I didn’t sign up for any specific task.

I took quite a few photos and spent the rest of the time following Wyatt’s preschool group.

As a result, I got to be present when my son learned about John 3:16 for the first time.

That night’s Bible study opened with a discussion about gifts. Wyatt was one of the children selected to reach into a gold bag for a surprise.

“Elephant!” he announced to his peers as he pulled out the stuffed animal.

Next they heard about the gift of God’s son to the world.

God, the cross, eternity and heaven are pretty heavy concepts for 3-5 year olds, so the lesson had to be presented at the most basic level possible — we all do bad things but God loves us anyway.

The more I listened to the lesson, I began to wonder why we ever have to make it more complicated than that.

As adults, it seems that we dissect the fine print of the Bible until we begin to miss the forest for the trees.

There’s nothing wrong with having constructive conversations about certain passages of Scripture and agreeing to disagree when necessary.

But it’s important to remember that those particular issues are part of the Bible, not its most important point.

I love the passage in “Mere Christianity” where C.S. Lewis talks about Christianity as a hallway and its various denominations as rooms.

Lewis said some people have to wait for God to show them which room they are supposed to enter. During that time, we are to “keep on praying for light: and of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house.”

I would add that the mat at the front door to the house probably reads, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”