The Third of Six Articles Supporting
God’s Unfolding Story for Older Preschoolers
The Biblical Story – It’s An Unfolding Story
We’ve seen that God has commanded us to teach the story of what He has done. We’ve also seen that the church needs to teach kids the story as a story so children are able to assemble the individual pieces of the story into a comprehensive story and not simply learn a random collection of stories with no connection to a larger narrative. We now need to consider that the biblical story is, in fact, an ongoing or unfolding story that involves people living today.
It’s easy to come under the impression that the biblical story somehow ended with the New Testament. After all, we believe the cannon of Scripture is closed. If the Bible is complete, isn’t the story found in the Bible complete also? Nothing could be further from the truth, however. The fact is, the Bible is merely the written record of the story. The Bible is complete and closed, but the story continues. The Bible is clear that God’s kingdom story is far from complete. It is, in fact, an eternal story that will never end. Consider this important passage in the final chapter of the Bible, describing the city prepared and waiting for us…
Then he showed me the river of living water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the broad street of the city… The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His slaves will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. Night will no longer exist, and people will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever (Rev. 22:1-5 HCSB emphasis added).
Not only is God’s story not yet finished, it’s really more accurate to say it never will be finished. This means that we, as God’s redeemed people, are now and always will be a part of His unfinished, ongoing, unfolding story. The biblical story may include elements of ancient history, but the story itself is more contemporary than tomorrow’s newspaper.
Consider for a moment the numerous names we find recorded in the Bible about whom we know nothing at all. All we have is a name and possibly their place in a genealogical record. Then there are those that undoubtedly played a significant role in the history of God’s people, but never had a name recorded at all. God knows them and they are part of His story. Only God knows why some names are recorded and some are not. Then there are those who are mentioned as enemies of God’s kingdom. They are part of the story as well.
The fact is, it’s not the record that determines our place in God’s story, but our relationship to Him. That means we are just as much a part of the story as any biblical character. The 3rd grader in your Sunday School is on the stage of God’s kingdom drama just as certainly as King David. The infant in the nursery during worship is just as much a part of the story as Abraham or Moses. The 5th grade girl singing in the children’s choir will be standing alongside the Apostle Paul when the curtain lifts on the cast of God’s eternal drama.
Can you imagine the difference it can make in the life of a child to learn at a young age that they are as much a part of God’s story as Abraham, Moses, David or Paul? We believe it will make a great difference and we are committed to helping the church accomplish this great task. We believe God’s Unfolding Story Bible Study System can help the church teach His story to successive generations.
But, there’s more to come! We still need to consider how to package the biblical story in a way that kids can understand and capture for life. We’ll go there in Part Four.