V.B.S. Blues

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#35: “V.B.S. Blues”
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Scripture
Daniel 3:1-30
1King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.2He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.3So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.4Then the herald loudly proclaimed, "This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language:5As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.6Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace."7Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.8At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews.9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, "O king, live forever!10You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,11and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.12But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon--Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego--who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up."13Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,14and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?15Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"16Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.18But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."19Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual20and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.21So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.22The king's command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.24Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, "Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?" They replied, "Certainly, O king."25He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!" So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,27and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.28Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.29Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way."30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Hebrews 4:12
12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
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V.B.S. Blues
“V.B.S. Blues” is episode #35 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on July 16, 1988.

Summary

Ned Lewis' V.B.S. class is a mess and he must perform a sketch in front of the entire church! If everything goes well, the church will consider starting up a Drama program, but things don't look too good for Ned.

Plot

Ned Lewis is a nervous wreck. His sixth-grade class at Vacation Bible School is set to perform a sketch Ned wrote and directed about Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and the fiery furnace. The problem is, the class isn't ready, not by a long shot. And, as he explains to Whit, the kids playing the lead characters - Eugene (Mugsy) Mumford, Hank Shorter, and Junior Bascomb - are the closest thing in Odyssey to gang members. Whit says things can't possibly be that bad, so Ned explains in a flashback just how disastrous the V.B.S. week has been.

Mugsy, Hank and Junior continually disrupted the class, took over the main parts of the sketch, and generally made nuisances of themselves. To make the disaster complete, the pastor told Ned how much he's looking forward to the sketch. The pastor said if it goes well, he may approve the drama program Ned's been wanting to start at the church.

Talking to Whit, Ned reveals that he's mostly disappointed because his reason for doing the sketch was so the kids would learn something. Now it doesn't seem that they're gaining anything from it. Whit disputes this and tells Ned that God works in ways we can't possibly understand. Whit encourages Ned and tells him to trust in God.

That night, Ned and his class perform their sketch, leaving the audience in stitches. Ned believes the whole thing flopped. To his surprise, Whit, the audience, and Pastor Williams compliment Ned on a job well done. The pastor even wants to talk more about the drama program. Best of all, Mugsy, Hank, and Junior thank Ned for letting them be in the show. They also apologize for disrupting the class during the week and ask if they can come to Ned's weekly Sunday school class. Ned says "absolutely," and he and Whit marvel at the faithfulness of the Lord.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Ned feel that the kids weren't getting anything out of his class?
  2. Ned told Whit that everything that had happened was his "fiery furnace." Can you think of a time when it seemed like you were in a "fiery furnace"?
  3. How did God help you through it?
  4. What is your favorite Old Testament story?
  5. How has it helped you?

Cast

Role Voice Actor
Benny David Minnery
Eugene Mumford Chad Reisser
Hank Shorter Allen Everman
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Junior Bascomb Trevor McVicar
Ned Lewis Steve Wunch
Pastor Williams Chuck Bolte

Notes

Trivia
  • Many parts of this episode parallel the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
  • VERSION DIFFERENCE: The broadcast version of this episode has Chris Anthony in the post office talking to a card counter about the letters that Adventures in Odyssey receives.
  • Mugsy and his gang say that the play has an "empire, like in Star Wars" and reenact a light saber battle and say "Luke, I am your father."
  • The original title of this episode was "The VBS Blues."
Goofs
  • Whit mentions at the Little Theater that there are refreshments set up downstairs. However seeing the floor-plan of Whit's End the Little Theater is downstairs.

Reviews

Quotes

Eugene Mumford: We talked it over. Me, and Junior, and Hank, wanna play those three guys, Poolrack, Toolshed, and a Billy Goat.

Ned Lewis: Hank, the gold star goes on the page, not your forehead.

Ned Lewis: They kept wanting to change the script. You know how Nebuchadnezzar ordered that everyone was supposed to bow down to the idol when the music played?
John Whittaker: Yeah.
Ned Lewis: Well, they wanted the music to be rock and roll. Then they started playing cards when they were in the fiery furnace.

Ned Lewis: And among these young men were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Eugene Mumford: Hi Mom!

Benny: We threw three men into the furnace, but now I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed. And the fourth one looks like the son of the gods.
Eugene, Hank, and Junior: <singing> Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning.