Iain Kennedy
Not Just For Kids

The Bible is full of page-turning, can’t put this down, who cares if dinner gets cold plots. They guide us through strange lands, constantly surprising us with the way they speak into our own lives in the here and now. Naturally, we love to tell kids these Bible stories from an early age. But, how do we make sure that these stories remain more than 'a kid’s story’, faithful to the way they are intended to be portrayed?

Each story contains truth about each of us, reaching across generations, cultures and experiences. For most of us these beautiful and occasionally painful truths penetrate more deeply through story than any other literary form. In the many stories there is one story that runs with an increasing number of threads from Genesis to Revelation, slowly revealing the main character – the most unlikely of heroes who has the reach to grab hold of our broken hearts in each of our own worlds.

This big story holds all of the other stories together. It is what distinguishes these stories from being just another ancient set of fables. The problem however, is that when the stories we regard as kid’s stories are told we often end up erasing some of these universal truths to make the story more attractive and palatable for children. That’s when we end up with tales that are disconnected from the flow of Scripture’s big story and can quickly become moral lessons that disregard central gospel themes like mercy and grace.

It may not be explicit, but we begin teaching a distortion of the big-story (the gospel). You might have heard something like, ‘Noah was a good man, so be good like him and God will be good to you’. As we’ll find out at our 502 site on Sunday, Noah wasn’t saved because he was good, but because he put his trust in God (and is ultimately saved by Jesus). Noah is a classic example, but there are lots more like this.

"Noah and The Flood" is the first in the summer sermon series at 502 called, “Not Just For Kids”. My hope is that these sermons will help us understand how the threads of these stories are weaved into the big story, that their universal truths bring real change to our current situations and that we’d learn how to faithfully retell them.

N.B – If you are a parent looking for a kid’s Bible storybook I can thoroughly recommend “The Jesus Story Book Bible”, which we use to teach kids at church. Another great resource is the DVD series “What’s in The Bible With Buck Denver” from the makers of Veggie Tales, particularly for bringing context to each of the stories they tell.