VBS – STORY OF THE LOST JAR OF MANNA

Are you ever surprised by Biblical truths that you’ve never heard before? Even if you grew up attending church?! It’s baffling and awesome that the learning never stops. That’s where I found myself when writing this year’s VBS drama scripts.

For most church kids, the beginning of summer is kicked off by attending VBS, aka – Vacation Bible School. Kids are filled with summer excitement, ready to burn energy, and learn about Jesus! Here is why VBS is so important: it’s a week where little ones begin to fall in love with their church community, understand fellowship, and ultimately, and prayerfully, fully understand the love that God has for them.

As many know, outside of being a Christian Children’s Author, I work in Children’s Ministry at WoodsEdge Community Church. For the second year, my theater background has come in handy as I’ve held the duty of VBS Drama Director. A piece of my job that I love, because I get to share my God given gifts. I’m grateful that my ministry team has trusted me with this!

Cast of “Dr. Logan and the Search for the Lost Jar of Manna”, Photo By Jack Sharp

Before I go on, I want to give a shout out to all of the CRAZE VBS family. As a whole, it was a roaring success!!! Worship was ignited and fantastic, and we were blessed to have 350 servant hearted volunteers who lead exciting games, memorable snacks, and meaningful huddle groups. All of those people, took time to teach child hearts about God.

My son on the left. Photo by Jack Sharp.

I also must add that almost 800 children raised around $4,000 to purchase school supplies and uniforms for children in Kenya. Their reward: 4 of their leaders got slimed!

Over the week, I’ve had many excited questions from people wanting to dig deeper into the drama story. The details are too cool not to share, so I decided to blog about it.

Writing the scripts this year was a first for me. Luckily, I had the bones of an old document and I reworked the meat. I wrote about 70%ish, so I cannot take all of the credit. In writing the scripts, I came across a small tidbit of a well told Bible Story, that seems to be widely unknown! In fact, some thought I had made this part up! I wish I was that clever.

As a ministry team, we decided to go with an 80’s adventure style theme for VBS, and over the course of 4 days we taught key principles about how ‘God is Good’ in all moments of life, even tough ones.

When I began writing, I decided to take our main character, archaeologist Dr. Logan Jones, (played by X Games Gold Medalist, Kevin Johnson) and his team of adventurers on a quest for a Biblical relic. The story I was incorporating comes from Exodus, Chapters 14 – 17. This is where Moses lead the Israelites away from slavery under Pharaoh, crossing the parted Red Sea, and then ultimately into the wilderness for 40 years.

While in the Wilderness, God continued to provide for his people. He provided water and food. That food was quail and manna that literally fell from Heaven, and his people were able to fill their bellies. Manna is described as a type of bread that tastes of honey.

After explicit directions from God as to how the Israelites were to gather and store the quail and manna, he also makes one more interesting request. One that I admittedly had never taken notice of until writing this story.

” Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘ Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.'” And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the LORD to be kept throughout your generations.” As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept.” Exodus 16: 32-34

In simple terms, “Hey Israelites, I’ve really helped you guys out a bunch. Keep one of these jars of bread forever to remember how I always had your back.” I found that baffling! I couldn’t believe I’d never noticed that part of the story! My thoughts went something like this, “God wanted his people to keep one jar of bread-like food… forever? Wouldn’t it rot? Where is this jar now?”

After fact checking myself, the jar absolutely existed. Where it is today is only speculation. Later in the Bible, it is mentioned in Hebrews, so we know that they put the golden jar into the sacred Ark of the Covenant.

“having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.” Hebrews 9:4

However, by the time the Ark was buried under the Temple built by Solomon, many of the contents of the Ark were presumed lost! (See 1 Kings 8:9 and 2 Chronicles 5:10)

In our drama, the adventurers went on a wild trip to Egypt, where they thought the Israelites had likely spent their time in the wilderness. While there, they set off to try and find the “Lost Jar of Manna”!

Holly Jasso, Kevin Johnson, Amy Lee Creel // Photo by Jack Sharp

Our story was fun, exciting, and full of adventure, betrayal, and forgiveness, along with other Biblical truths. During the quest for “The Lost Jar of Manna”, the characters encountered ancient warriors and one very handsome bad guy played by my husband, Shane!

I loved this cast and crew! We had the best time acting and teaching the little ones about God’s goodness together. Many little lives were changed forever! The ‘real’ Jar of Manna may not have been physically present, but God’s command see and remember his goodness was honored this week.

If you have an interesting Biblical truth to share, I’d love to hear it. Drop it in the comments!

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