Pentecost Proper 24; 22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture Reference: 2 Tim. 3:14—4:4
From “Scolding the Snakes”
Preparation: Bring some book collections of your favorite fairy tales, fables, and myths (about Greek or Nordic gods, for example); also bring a Bible.
How many of you like to hear stories? Do you like to hear fairy tales or adventure stories read to you? What are some of your favorite stories? (Let children share.) I love stories too. I brought along some of my favorite stories from when I was young. (Show the book collections and talk briefly about a few of your favorite stories.) Some of these stories are called myths. A myth is a story that people have made up to explain how something came into being. There are many myths from different lands, for example, about how the world was made or how different creatures were made.
(You may share some myths that you have heard or use my examples that follow.) The ancient Greeks believed that the earth and the sky fell in love and all of Earth’s creatures are the children of the earth. Long ago, the people of Norway and Sweden believed that the earth’s creatures were pulled out of a boiling lake. And myths from Japanese and Indian cultures told of life being born from a huge egg.
The Bible is a book that is full of stories, too. But there is something very special about the Bible that makes it different than any other book in the world. (Show the Bible and read directly from its pages; the translation here is the New Living Translation.) Let me read to you from the New Testament book of 2 Timothy, chapter 3: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right” (v. 16 NLT). God used people to write down the words we find in the Bible, but the ideas and thoughts that are written down in these pages are inspired by God.
The Bible is God’s word to us. God speaks to us through the Bible. It is not a book written just to be an interesting story or to teach us history. The Bible is a book written to change lives. God sent the scriptures to us so that we would know how much God loves us. The Bible tells us that Jesus came to take away our sins so that we would live forever with God. It’s not a fairy tale, and it’s not a myth. The Bible is the truest story that ever was. It is God’s message of love to us. And God wants us to read the Bible and to listen to its words just as often as we can.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for giving us the Bible, which tells us the wonderful, true story of your love for us.