By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Creative Arts Director
Woodland Hills Church
The Bible is not just a book of stories. It’s not a random collection of characters and events. No, the Bible is so much more than that! The Bible is, in fact, one BIG story! All of its stories – from the major ones like the Exodus and King David and Jesus to the seemingly minor ones like Elisha and Naaman and Philip and the Ethiopian – are all connected to one another, creating one big, amazing story! So what connects them all? How can they be one big story? Because they all come together to form God’s Story. It’s a story that began before the creation of the world and continues today with us. That’s right – We’re part of God’s Big Story, too! God is still moving and working in our lives and world, and that makes us all players in his unfolding story! And because everyone is a player in God’s Story (whether they know it or not), that means we all have the ability to change and impact one another’s own individual stories, as well.
As a family, create a Biblical timeline (see below for an example) of the major events and characters you know. See if you can find how some of the stories connect. (For example, David is connected to Abraham because Abraham is his ancestor. Or you might connect the story of Peter and Cornelius with God’s announcement to Abraham that his descendants would be a blessing to everyone in the world.) Place the timeline near where you might do family devotionals or bedtime stories. Then, as you read stories from the Bible, you can figure out where on the timeline the story takes place and know what happened before in the story and what’s coming up.
One Bible that does a terrific job of connecting the stories and laying out God’s Big Story is The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jago. With beautiful words and amazing illustrations, it is, by far, our favorite Bible for young children in Heroes Gate!
Remind your kids as you talk about how we’re all part of God’s Big Story that they have a role to play in that story each day. God asks us to be world-changers, even in the seemingly small things, and He promises that through our words and actions, He can do the incredible. As a family, take some time to talk about ways each of you can practically change the world for the better and add value to someone else’s story. And then encourage your family members to do just that! If your son says he wants to greet people with a smile and open doors for people that week, be sure to give him encouragement and opportunities to do so! If your daughter decides she can use her drawing talent to make beautiful pictures for family and friends, get her those art supplies ASAP! Remind them that how they live out their part of God’s Story can influence others’ stories and cause ripple effects throughout the world and history. In fact, that’s how most of the stories in the Bible work – One event or person or people group at a time whom God works through to do the remarkable and change the world.