Who is the Story really about?
Author Sally Lloyd-Jones tells the following story over at the Gospel Coalition blog –
One Sunday, not long ago, I was reading the story of “Daniel and the Scary Sleepover” fromThe Jesus Storybook Bible to some 6-year-olds during a Sunday school lesson. One little girl in particular was sitting so close to me she was almost in my lap. Her face was bright and eager as she listened to the story, utterly captivated. She could hardly keep on the ground and kept kneeling up to get closer to the story.
At the end of the story there were no other teachers around, and I panicked and went into automatic pilot and heard myself—to my horror—asking, “And so what can we learn from Daniel about how God wants us to live?”
And as I said those words it was as if I had literally laid a huge load on that little girl. Like I broke some spell. She crumpled right in front of me, physically slumping and bowing her head. I will never forget it.
It is a picture of what happens to a child when we turn a story into a moral lesson.
When we drill a Bible story down into a moral lesson, we make it all about us. But the Bible isn’t mainly about us, and what we are supposed to be doing—it’s about God, and what he has done!…
…the Bible, in short, is a Story—not a Rule Book—and there is only one Hero in the Story…
…Because rules don’t change you.
But a Story—God’s Story—can.
It’s so easy to do even in our own times of engagement with the big story of the Scriptures. Easy to make it about what me…
What aren’t I doing?
What should I be doing?
How do I need to change?
And these are not unimportant questions. But perhaps they shouldn’t be the first question.
Perhaps the first question should instead be about God…
What is God saying…
about his nature?
about his love?
about his values?
The clearer we see Him, know Him – the clearer everything else will become.