What Amen Really Means

June 11, 2010 | 17 comments

The unison “Amen”
joins a chorus of cherubim
and we of flesh
think it’s all over now
as one final word
evaporates into
the postlude
and we shuffle for the door.

But who said that our “Amens” signaled the end?

Might the whisper of the last Amen be the Genesis?


Tonight, we say Amen on our Vacation Bible School.

For five days, we’ve hoisted the sails. We wore eye-patches and bandannas and sailor vests with shiny gold buttons. We called ourselves “Jesus-lovin’ pirates,” because those kind are the good kind. We sailed the High Seas of God’s Love.

They don’t want it to end. And I don’t either.

“Mommy can’t we have VBS for 10 days? Or even for, like, five months?” Lydia begged last night from the back seat as I steered these country roads home. Sun descended, and the mown alfalfa in our front yard blushed in orange. In the glow of every day’s Amen, comes the promise of tomorrow’s dawn. Earth spins on its axis, but it never stops cold. Every Amen ascends over next day’s horizon, turning the same fields a new shade of day.

I turn up the driveway, past the alfalfa aglow.

“Lydia,” I asked, still in my High Seas sailor’s cap. “Do you know what Amen means?”

Anna answered first. “It means the prayer is all done!”

Lydia interrupted: “It means, ‘It is finished,’ like Jesus said on the cross.”

“Well, you’re partly right,” I told them both. “But it’s more.”

What if — I asked them — Amen really was the start?

What if Amen was the genesis of Hope? What if Amen meant that when we rose from the pew on a Sunday morning — or even a Friday night Bible school program — we saw it as a prelude to the Promise?

Because it really is.


Amen is the Yes! of all yeses.

In Hebrew, it means “truly,” or “so be it.”

Think of it as a holy “True, that!” followed up with a fist-bump.

From the pulpit, my pastor has said it’s just another way to say “Cool.”

With our amens, we are doing more than offering a concluding word for prayers and hymns and days. In nighttime prayers, we are doing more than putting a period on the past. We are putting exclamation points on all of our tomorrows.

And when we utter our amens, might we remember that we’re really whispering Christ’s Name? For Christ Jesus is God’s Amen.

“And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:20

Let us pray:

Jesus, We’ve been Getting Down with You. We’ve been rockin’ the House of God with our praises. It’s the season of Bible schools all over America — and all around the world. Send your Spirit, and let us not leave You in the pew when we say our last Amen. For You tell us in the red letters that You are the Amen!
In Your name,
True, that.



ALL IMAGES from our local Vacation Bible School this week.

by | June 11, 2010 | 17 comments


  1. Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife

    Wow! I'm impressed. You guys know how to put on a VBS! That ship was amazing!

  2. Tony C

    I love VBS! Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around VBS at my home church.

    That ship would have taken the cake for me…I wouldn't have ever wanted to leave!

  3. Tabitha@ichoosebliss

    Oh how I love this Jennifer!! I heard a pastor refer to saying Amen as being in agreement with God and I love that thought as well!

  4. ~*Michelle*~

    The yes of all yeses

    I love that!

    Man, I sure wish we lived closer…..your VBS looks amazing!

  5. Laura

    We begin VBS on Monday, and I'm all a flutter after seeing your pictures, Jennifer. It truly is a special time.

    And I love your sailor outfit!

  6. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience

    The year of yes, the year of AMEN!

    You are such a blessing!

    All's grace,

  7. Beth E.

    I have great memories of my childhood and VBS. Looks like a fun – and blessed – time was had by all!

  8. Charity Singleton

    Amen! All is yes in Christ.

    I love VBS! It was critical in my spiritual awakening as a child, and it was important in learning how to serve as teenager. I have helped with a good many as an adult too, though now work makes that hard. Looks like your was awesome!

  9. Karen

    " We are putting exclamation points on all of our tomorrows."…Amen!!

  10. Freddae'

    Um…AMEN! Rock on sister. What a great message. My son participated in his first VBS this week and he didn't want it to end either. If only adults had that spirit about Sunday worship.

  11. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    oh, I just love VBS myself, but 5 days is just plenty! ha!

  12. Suz

    I did not grow up with VBS but I participate in the VBS at our church.

    Yours looked wonderful – a lot of work but a lot of lessons and memories for the kids.

  13. Stephani

    What a faith booster!

  14. Rebecca Ramsey

    How I love VBS–the songs, the pledges, the prayers–and the crafts! Such fun.

  15. Kristen Love

    Visiting church with my childhood friend and going to VBS with her is how I came to know and love Jesus 🙂

  16. Graceful

    I love this! And honestly, I've never thought about Amen before — I've uttered it countless times without ever thinking about the word and what it means. I love that it signals not and end, but a beginning.

  17. Craig

    I hearted this!! Amen to the yes of all yeses. I wanted to tell you that – AND – I also used your picture of the shado and the cross on today’s post – with credit of course – a link back to you. Let me know if you want it removed. God bless you Jennifer.


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