Well, kids, it’s VBS week. This year’s theme is High Seas Expedition. Maybe that’s your theme too. I am leading the opening and closing times, and I have a sailor hat. Oh, yes! I do! (I also have sailor hat hair which is not helping the mid-life hair crisis.)
Colin is in his last year of VBS. He’s a good sport. He and about three other kids his age are doing the actions. The others are too cool and stand there with their arms crossed looking angry. Why, oh, why are you even here?
Preschooler D . . . Well, D is just barely old enough and I was SUPER excited for him because I figured he was just going to love it. He took one look at the gym full of other anxious preschoolers and screamed he wasn’t going. I had no time to waste. If the opening song time is late, the whole thing is late, isn’t it? I scooped him up and took him to the nursery, did the opening song time and (hooray!) managed to coax him out of the nursery and into his small group just in time for the exciting story of Peter being freed from prison.
This is one of my favorite Bible stories because it’s sort of humanity at its hilarious best. I’ll tell it to you, but it’s Acts 12 if you feel you must check my work. I’ve been told I paraphrase a bit freely.
So Peter is a friend of Jesus, right? And after Jesus dies, rises and goes up into heaven, Peter starts telling people that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. Well, the king gets all upset because he’s in an awkward political position and he has Peter arrested. Peter’s all chained up in prison when an angel comes and gets him, releases his chains and walks right out of the place.
Meanwhile, Peter’s friends are holding an all-night prayer vigil for him. “Please, dear Lord! Free Peter from prison!” So Peter strolls up to the door and knocks. Rhoda, the servant girl, hears that it’s Peter and flips out and doesn’t even let him in. She runs back to the group to tell them it’s Peter and they’re like, “Shhhh!!! Rhoda!!! Please!!! We are trying to pray for Peter’s freedom!” She insists that it’s Peter and they go on, “Rhoda! You have lost your mind! You are hearing things!” Finally because she will not calm down, someone goes to look and sure enough it’s Peter.
Love it! Isn’t that just what we would do? An answer to prayer falls in our laps and we say, “Rhoda! Not now!”