I love them…..reading them, watching them when they are filmed, and listening to them. When I was growing up, a favourite time as a family was sitting and listening to stories mum and dad told, of their school years, their years during the second world war and the earlier years of their marriage. Mum was in the Land Army and Dad an engineer but later they both lived and worked on farms. I was the fourth of five children and my parents fostered so I would listen to stories about the different children they had had living in our house. I have great memories of those story times.
The Ancient People, several thousand years ago, didn’t have books but told their stories by: telling them! That is where stories from the Bible came from. It is called the ‘Oral Tradition’. I like to imagine them sitting round their campfires at night (no electricity!) or walking along, (they were often nomadic people - get mum/dad to tell you what that means) and told stories to each other. These stories got told over and over again down through generations…so the Bible did not just appear…it was written by real people in real times in real places. And these stories would be debated and discussed, added to and changed and we have a big book of stories, poems, letters and accounts. These stories would be shaped by the times, places, economies they lived in and the kind of people they were or hoped to be. They were people like us, who lived and worried and struggled and got frightened.They got ill, got better or not, got married and had children, grew up and grew old and died. Just like us but living in different times and different places.
The stories may seem really strange to us, maybe unbelievable because often they are! But they didn’t write everything as if it were a factual event but a way of describing how they saw things. What they thought things meant.
Sometime in history other people spent a very long time deciding what to
include and what NOT to include and when you read the stories in this quite difficult book - it would be helpful to ask these questions:you have to ask…
Who is telling the story* and who are they telling it to?
Where are they telling the story?
When are they telling the story?
Why are they telling the story?
What is the story about?
What is the story really about?
Which person do you want to be this time as you read or listen to the story? You may want to be someone else next time.
It is unlikely that you will be able to answer all these questions every time you read the Bible. Use your imagination. Try to see yourself in the place, among the people, or seeing an event. This will help it become more meaningful to you.
Where the word ‘story’ is written, take this to mean any genre in the Bible. (If you don’t know what ‘genre’ mean ask an adult or look it up in a dictionary.)
During this very strange time when we have to be away from everyone we want to see and be with, we are going to think about some stories. I will give some suggestions of what I think about a story and then if you want to you can email me your ideas or comments. I would love to hear them as we are learners together and you may well see something in the story that I haven’t seen before.
Choose 1 of these to do:
Do you have a favourite author? A favourite story? Could you illustrate it by drawing a picture, using Lego or using natural things like leaves, bits of wood or stones, illustrate it in the garden. Any way you like.
Write you own story. Make it as weird as you like. Remember stories have a beginning a middle and an end…or do they?