Preparing for Worship

by | Jun 14, 2024 | Preparing For Worship

This past week I volunteered to work at Wilshire’s Vacation Bible School. No applause, please, because it was my first time. In fact, it’s safe to say I haven’t been near a VBS since I attended as a child. It’s not because I don’t believe in its value. I have great memories of VBS: learning songs and scriptures, making crafts and new friends. But, because I wasn’t a parent — I wasn’t a father — I sort of unplugged from what children do and what they need from their parents and teachers.

So, I surprised even myself when I volunteered for VBS, although I chose a low-contact role: to be on the playground when preschool classes came out to play. I jokingly called it “playground police,” but I was there in the background just to make sure the children were safe and nobody got hurt.

I hear some echo of that role in our reading from Psalm 20 today, where David is calling upon the Lord to be with, protect, help and support the people of Israel in their times of trouble. The big difference, of course, is the Lord is the Lord and we are not. We can’t cause the winds to blow, the seas to part and evil to be defeated. Still, Christ showed us in the Gospels how to be present for each other in times of trouble and distress.

On the playground I mostly stayed out of the way and watched the children be who they are: children. I’ve been there many times as a deacon serving in worship care, and there’s always going to be someone who will stumble and fall, skin their knee or get their feelings hurt. I know how to help in those situations, and often it is just to listen and console.

That may be our most important role in life as Christians: to be present with each other and be ready to help in whatever way we can when someone is hurting. As we worship today, consider the people who have helped you in times of need, and consider how you might do the same. And know that when you feel less than able to make a difference, God is always there with you.