Have you ever read one story in the Bible and wondered what it had to do with Jesus? Or even why stories about Jesus were in the same book as stories about floods and lions and giants? The truth is, the Bible is actually telling one great story of how God rescues and redeems, but it is made up of a lot of smaller stories that are all connected. We made a visual timeline to help learn the eras, and to see how all the stories work together. (If you'd like to learn more about this, we love and have been helped a lot by the book 30 Days to Understanding the Bible from Max Anders.)
OVERVIEW: Bible Timeline
This week we used the picture above (you can download it here) to talk through the eras of the entire Bible! For a further explanation of each era, download this pdf to learn more about key events and key people from each era. We think this is a very helpful tool for kids (and adults!) to learn how the Bible works together as one giant story about God and what He does! With this new perspective, it changes the way we approach and study the Bible. In fact, each week in our elementary ministries we tell the kids which era each story is in!
- Why do you think it is important to talk about how the Bible works together?
- Look at the timeline together with your kids. Off the top of your heads, can you name a person and/or story from any of these eras?
- Have you ever read a story in the Bible and wondered what it had to do with the rest of the stories?
- What is the big story God is telling us through the whole Bible?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Stories and Eras
Friend: Eras with Motions
While driving in the car this week or during some down time, see if your kids can remember the motions we learned to match each era on Sunday! If you missed it, or need a refresher, they are listed on the era info sheet. Do a motion and see if your kids can guess what it is. Let them have a turn doing motions too!
Counselor: God’s Great Rescue Story
During bedtime this week, pick a story from the Bible with your kids. You can pick up where you normally have been reading, or pick a new story to read. After reading the story, ask your kids if they can figure out which era it goes in, and how it connects to the larger story of God's rescue. (For example, the story of Daniel and the lions would be in the Exile era, and tells of how God is all-powerful and He is mighty to save.)
Coach: Flash Card Era Game
Print off these era flash cards (or make your own!) to play a game with your kids to see who can match each picture with each era. Make the game harder or add bonus points for anyone who can name the key people and key events from each era.
Thank God for helping us to see the bigger picture of the Bible. Thank Him for making it all one big story to help us see His plan of rescue better! Ask Him to help you see the Bible as a story of rescue, rather than just a book of rules.
Next week we will begin the month of September with the godly characteristic trait of RESPECT. We will be learning that we can respect God because His way is always best!