Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Jesus Storybook Bible

I love getting packages in the mail. They always make me feel special. Last week, I received a package from my cousin Kelly. While we were in Florida during my grandmother’s funeral, She told me about a Bible she was using with her children and how much she enjoyed it. You can imagine my joy when the package arrived and The Jesus Storybook Bible was included.

Larry and I have been searching for an age appropriate Bible for the children for a while. We tried The Long Story Short Family Devotions, but it was too advanced for Eden. It would be fantastic for an older child. A lot of children’s Bibles on the market are cartoonish and were not exactly what we were looking for in a children’s Bible.

We read straight out of the Bible, and think that it is wonderful, but there were a lot of things that we came across that we had a difficult time deciding how to (or even if we should) expose them to a two and four year old. We want them to be knowledgeable of the Bible, but not to some of the evils it includes. We realize babes need the milk of scripture, not the meat.

So you can imagine my joy when I opened the Jesus Storybook Bible and began reading. I loved the way the author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, wove the stories of Scripture into kid friendly tales that all pointed to Jesus. I looked up the Book’s website and read a wonderful Q&A about her and her purpose behind writing the Storybook. Her words touched my heart. She so exactly embraced Larry’s and my philosophy about the Scriptures and the wonderful Savoir for whom they were written. Here is a exert from the website:
If you lose the greater story of the Bible, the danger is you start thinking that it’s all about you and what you should or shouldn’t be doing. You can start to think it’s a book of rules to follow (of course there are rules in it and they show us how life works best but if we could save ourselves by following the rules, Jesus never would have had to come); or you can think it’s a book of heroes to copy (clearly that can’t be right though. So many of the people God uses are not heroes at all--they’re broken sinners!).

But if you see that everything in the Bible is pointing to the greater one, the greater Hero, the greater David, the greater Daniel, the Greater Shepherd, the True King--it transforms everything. Suddenly, it’s an incredible adventure story, a wonderful love story. The rescue of Noah and the ark was great--but it was not enough. Isaac was a brave son--but there would be another braver son. The Promised Land was good, but it wouldn’t last. The law was good, but it wasn’t enough. A greater rescue, a more wonderful home, a more obedient son was coming. The Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. It’s most of all a Story, and there’s only one hero of that Story. And it isn’t us! It’s all about Jesus, it’s always all been about Jesus, from the very beginning.

Even though I had only read through the first few pages of the book, I knew I held something special in my hands. We had been given a wonderful tool to point our children towards the Savior who loves them with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

As we started to read it together as a family, I began to tear up. Eden being super sensitive to Mommy’s tears, didn’t understand what was going on. She kept asking why I was so upset. I explained to her that I loved this book and its stories so much that It made Mommy cry tears of joy. They were happy tears because I love the God who gave us the Book and the stories and who loves us with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. I explained how the hundreds of books on her bookshelf were all pretend stories, make believe stories, but that these stories were real. They were from a real God and a real Jesus. Can you imagine how that must have impacted her little heart?

It makes me joyful when each night she pulls out the Bible and looks forward to us reading it together. Only a week or so into it and she knows Mommy’s and Daddy’s love for this book. I have also found myself reading ahead and loving the stories. Even though it is written for Children, the Truths are timeless and touch this tired Momma’s heart as well. The stories remind me of the Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love that God has for me as well. What a blessing!

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