Every child at Southminster from newborn through elementary school will receive a Family Story Bible. Andrew Maldarelli will make sure of that. If we run out we will order more. Each month there will be quizzes for the children to complete (with help of parents as needed). See the quizzes for January and February at the end of this article.. Get the completed quizzes to Pastor John by the end of each month to receive a fabulous prize! We have had a bit of a late start so we will receive the quizzes for both months at the end of February.

This is a fun way to introduce your children to the Bible and to spend some quality time with your children (or grandchildren) talking about the amazing characters and stories in the Bible. The Family Story Bible is accessible for children. The reason I like it is that it is not about moralizing or about believing stuff, but entering the story and opening up a questioning attitude toward the Bible. The author, Ralph Milton, writes in his “Word to Adults”:

I bring imagination and passion to every story in the Bible. That’s my joy when I read the Bible for myself. That’s my job when I approach it as a writer.

First, imagination.

Where the terse biblical text offers little detail, I add my own. Where names are missing, I invent them. Where connecting a narrative is absent, I supply it. Then I add my own dash of drama and suspense and fun. Sometimes, almost the whole story comes from my imagination and almost none of it from the Bible. …

As a professional writer, my imagination is disciplined, but it is not tamed. I do my research. The details I imagine are checked to make sure they have some textual and historical validity. I’ve taken a fair number of courses, done graduate work in Israel, and read hundreds of books in order to do this….

Second, passion.

…I believe with a fire-in-the-belly passion, that the Bible contains God’s call to humanity to live into the future with courage and caring, with joy and justice, with freedom and opportunity for all of creation. We’re called to a radical kind of love. One of the great ways hear that call is by reading the Bible with imagination and passion….

So enjoy each story, whether you think it is historically true, pure fiction, or somewhere in-between. Don’t turn it into a “lesson.” The inner truth, the wisdom, is there Inside the story. Don’t look fro some pious little moral, but be open to the flash of insight into what it means to be spiritual human beings who live in families and communities with other spiritual human beings.

Let God speak to the child in you. Enjoy!

February pp. 38-72

1) What did Abraham learn in the story “Abraham Doesn’t Understand?”

2) How did Eliezer know that Rebecca was the “right woman” for Isaac?

3) Do you think Esau made a good deal with Jacob?

4) How did Jacob trick his father?

5) What did Jacob see in his dream?

6) What are the names of Jacob’s wives?

7) What is Jacob’s other name?

8) What are the names of Rachel’s two babies?

9) Why didn’t Joseph’s brothers like him?

10) What did Pharoah’s dreams mean?

11) Did Joseph stay angry with his brothers forever?