God’s Big Story

789347_73486442By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Curriculum Specialist

Woodland Hills Church

If your kids have been to Heroes Gate in the past five years, they’ve heard the phrase “God’s Big Amazing Story” more than a few times. It’s central to what we teach Sunday mornings. We feel called to make sure kids go home with a solid understanding of their place inside His story. So what exactly is God’s Big Amazing Story?

Also known as the Bible’s “metanarrative” – a fancy word that basically means a story about a story (think of it like a movie about the making of a movie) – God’s Big Amazing Story is the incredibly true tale of how God has been working throughout human history to bring us back into a right-relationship with Him and restore the world to what He originally created it to be.

The story begins, of course, at the beginning. We know the tale – Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree and get kicked out of the garden. But the story goes much deeper than that. The first couple have a perfect relationship with God whose essence is love. That means Adam and Eve, made in His likeness, know only real, unflawed love as they walk through Eden, speak with one another, and learn directly from God Himself. They have never experienced grief, anger, betrayal, or death. And yet, as “the serpent” sidles up to them one day and begins to twist God’s words, they doubt God’s love for them. Perhaps God isn’t who they thought. Perhaps he’s been holding them back from their full potential. So they eat the fruit. And everything changes. Sin enters the world. Like a disease, it poisons their hearts. They begin to accuse one another, desperate to shift the blame from themselves. Their sin corrupts the world around them, as well. Thorns and thistles begin to grow from the once-perfect ground. Disease and sickness and death are not far behind. Nothing will ever be the same again. Before long, even Adam and Eve’s children discover the terrible depths to which sin can take the human soul.

So what is God’s answer? Does He throw away the human race and start again? Does He turn His back and say, “You made this mess – Deal with it on your own. I’m done with you!” No. Out of a broken heart that loves beyond measure, God chooses to redeem. He immediately begins working through their disaster to bring restoration. God plants seeds of hope as He continues to interact with Adam and Eve’s descendants. Despite their flaws and their sinful nature, He lets them know Him bit by bit. He gains back their trust, as warped and imperfect as it may be. He raises up from among them a nation of people, Israel, who are to be an example to the world of what it looks like to follow God. And through that very inconsistent nation, He brings about the salvation of the world through His Son, Jesus.

Jesus’ death on the cross reclaims what was lost in the garden. His resurrection proclaims eternal life is now possible and freely-given for those who chose to follow Him. The relationship with God that was broken so long ago has been made possible again, and we, as His followers, are given the incredible task of telling others this amazing, life-changing news! And one day, Jesus will return to finish the restoration process He began on the cross. One day, all things will be made new and right and good. One day, Love will truly reign on the earth once again.

This is the story we have been given to share with everyone we meet and, most certainly, with our kids. It’s not just a story about God or people from ancient history. God’s story is our story. He’s still working and moving in our world today, and He’s calling each of us to step up and play our part in His story. So the next time your kids ask for a bedtime story, why tell them our story. After all, they, too, have a part to play in God’s Big Amazing Story.

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