wednesday words

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I really like kids books. last year my roommate & I kept a stack in our living room. when I was a kid I adored goodnight moon. now days I think moe williams is pretty genius, especially edwina, the dinosaur that didn’t know she was extinct & leonardo the terrible monster. as much as I love kids books, though, I’ve always had a hard time with kids Bible books. I have read so many different ones, between four younger siblings & dozens of babysitting gigs… but it always seemed like they reduced to mundanity the stories that I know are so so beautiful.

then a couple of years ago I stumbled upon the Jesus Storybook Bible. Sally Lloyd-Jones has put together the most beautiful retellings I’ve ever read… simple enough for kids to follow, but rich enough that any adult reading them aloud will benefit greatly. my copy is side by side English & Spanish (how cool is that?), but there’s an English only version as well.

I am particularly fond of Lloyd-Jones’ renditions of Isaiah, the Last Supper & Revelation… but the part that is brought to my mind most often is actually in the introduction:

“Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.

Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy.  The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bibe aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.

No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story… there are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name…”

this book is rich. sometimes when I feel bogged & buried in “intellectual Christianity,” I pick it up, flip through, breath deep & am reminded of how simple & how beautiful the Story really is. I’m telling you… kids books are good for the soul.

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