So our five year-old daughter has just been given a set of flash cards. The flash cards have words on them like 'once upon a time', 'princess', 'magic', 'witch.' The idea is that she uses these words to make up her own fairy tale.
Someone has said, 'The Bible is a collection of fairy tales written by illiterate goat herders back in the Bronze Age.' But the story of the Bible is obviously no fairy tale. It is a history book of real events that happened to real people in real countries.
More than a history book
But it is so much more than a history book. You might say that the history of mankind is just a record of random events with no ultimate meaning, leading 'who knows where.' Instead, the Bible shows us that human history has a beginning and an end, and it shows us where all the events of history are headed.
But it doesn't record all the events of history. The Bible sticks to one main story line - the one that matters most to the whole human race. It's the story of God's plan to bring an end to the mess we have made of his creation. It's the story of God who is just - how he will finally bring justice to bear on all of us for our rebellion against him, and for the terrible consequences of not living the way he made us to live. It's the story of God who is love and full of mercy - how he extends the offer of forgiveness to us and a new life. It's the story of how God is able to forgive us by sending his Son into the world to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our rebellion and sin.
So, when you read the Bible, you discover how the world started and where we all came from and why we exist. You see in the real historic events of ancient Israel the way God prepared the world for the arrival of the Christ to save us from the consequences of our rebellion. You see the biggest event and the greatest moment in all of human history when that long-awaited Saviour of the world was born - Jesus Christ, who lived and died on a cross and was raised from the dead - seen, heard, touched and testified to by the eyewitness writers of the New Testament.
And in the Bible you discover God's amazing plan. God is creating a new human race out of people from all nations, tribes, cultures and languages. These people are all those who read his story in the Bible and, trusting in his Son, turn back to him for forgiveness and a new life.
The Bible is no fairy tale, and it's not just a history book. It is God himself appealing to you to be reconciled to him through faith in his Son Jesus.
Pastor at St George’s