Friday, March 6, 2015

God's stories

I was in with the children of the local school today, talking about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples (today is the International Day of prayer and that's the theme chosen for this year). I told it in story form, of course – children love stories – tracing Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, about how he was going there to suffer and die, about how he had told his disciples all about this, and how then, with all this in the atmosphere, he had knelt at the feet of his followers, taken the role of the humblest of servants, and washed their feet. And, naturally, I brought along a basin and some towels to do a little foot-washing of my own, to the delight of all!

As I said, children love stories. And the Bible is full of stories. Isn't it interesting that God speaks to us, who are his children, so much by way of stories? I would suggest a person could learn more about God's love and power and plan for how we should live from one story in the Bible than from a stack of theology books. Why wouldn't we? Children learn best from stories; and these are stories told us by us by God our Father.

That should alert us to a danger – the danger of biblical illiteracy, of people not knowing the stories because they don't read the Bible. And the danger of our children not knowing the stories because they are told them seldom, if at all. 

Parents shouldn't rely on the job being done for them in school or Sunday school or by the snippets heard in church of a Sunday. Hearing the Bible a fragment here and a fragment there is a bit like trying to watch a movie by seeing the occasional short clip in random order. You've no idea where it fits in to the overall story; and out of context it can be quite meaningless. So read the Bible to them. And if it seems like hard work, then good; a bit of humble service never hurt anyone. You only have to look to the example of Jesus if you don't believe me.

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