"And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them."
117 years ago this summer! That’s how long children around the world have enjoyed Vacation Bible School (VBS). Have you ever wondered how it all got started?
It began in the summer of 1898 in New York City. A doctor’s wife was concerned about the young souls of the immigrant children who roamed the streets of Manhattan. For six weeks she ran two-hour sessions in a rented beer hall teaching Bible stories, singing songs, playing games, and doing crafts with children. Sound familiar?
Two years later, the VBS classes moved into a Baptist church and from there, the idea caught on with multiple Christian denominations in the early 20th century, eventually spreading across North America and around the world.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (v.14). It’s a privilege sharing the Gospel with children, knowing that Jesus has invited them. And it encourages our faith as well to hear the simple message of saving faith in Christ alone.
Childlike faith doesn't mean our knowledge of Jesus and His Word is small. It means we're trusting in Him alone for our life today and forever.