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“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

–Ephesians 4:2-3

Last week, we shared in Vacation Bible School at our church. VBS is always a wonderful week of having children, youth mentors and adult leaders from our church and community gather together to grow in God’s love and learn how to share God’s love. This year’s theme was Compassion Camp: Challenging the World with Loving Kindness.

We had t-shirts that shared the message Be Loved, Be Kind, Be You and each day there was a different message about compassion that we learned and carried with us. The compassion messages were: Compassion Helps Me Thrive; Compassion Walks with Others; Compassion Crosses Barriers; Compassion Jumps into Action; and Compassion Sees the Big Picture.

Our theme song for the week helped us think about loving kindness toward ourselves and others with hand motions that went with the words, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be Safe, Be at Peace.

Everything about our VBS week was relevant to what is so needed in our lives and in our world right now. And if compassion and all that goes with it can come from our children and youth, we have real hope for the future.

Compassion Camp VBS reminded me of a blessing that was written in the 4th century by a monk named Henri Amiel. He offered words 17 centuries ago that could have been written today when he wrote: “Life is short; and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind and compassionate.”

In this week, may the compassionate blessings of God our Creator, Christ our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit our Sustainer be with you…and be thankful!