A SPECIAL BOOK (words by Walter Farquharson)
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The bible, I know, is a special book.
It tells us a lot about God.
But some of the stories I read there
for certain, have got to be odd!
If Adam and Eve in the garden,
were the only two who were there,
then where did their sons find their girlfriends,
or doesn’t anyone care?
The stories I like best are different.
They speak of God’s love and concern,
of healing and feeding and caring,
in a world where we all get a turn.
If Noah had gathered all creatures,
all species from air, land, and sea,
then how did the old ark keep sailing?
It doesn’t make much sense to me.
If Jesus went walking on water,
did wonders for all folks to see,
then why did so many reject him,
when he wanted to set people free?
Words Copyright © 1984 by Walter Farquharson
Author / Composer Comments
From Ron & Walter’s “JUST LIKE SALT” collection:
It doesn’t take long for children who have had Bible Stories read to them to come up with many of the same questions included in this song. It is important to acknowledge and affirm these questions, but it is also important not to provide answers that are, on the one hand, too academic and involved or, on the other, too easy or simplistic.
This song provides children with an affirmation that, for the faith community, the Bible is indeed a special book. One of the things that makes it special is that it directs us to God, the caring Source and Sustainer of life. The Bible also points us to Jesus, the human and ‘touchable’ focus of God’s creative love. It is through the Bible that we witness God’s Spirit living and working through ordinary people of all ages and races.
The stories of Jesus’ life that many children like best are those that tell about him healing the sick and freeing people trapped by circumstances beyond their control. They also enjoy hearing how Jesus challenged the powerful rulers and self-righteous leaders of his day.
The parables are another source of surprise and delight found in the Gospel. Each of these stories leads children to understand something of the way of the Christian life and of God’s love for the created order. The Bible comes alive when these stories are shared in an understandable way and children are encouraged to reflect on them.
True freedom creates opportunities for each of us to give and share of ourselves. We can see how freedom is lost when a community shuts out certain people. A good example is found in the story of the leper (Mark 1:40-45) where we are shown that though the disease itself was a bad enough thing, what was worse was that a community (and even a family!) deserted and disowned the leper. The story of the demoniac (Mark 5:1-20) presents itself as another example which reflects the recurring reality that, through his stories and teachings, Jesus kept bringing people back to a place where they could find belonging.
There are practical ways in which we can demonstrate these teachings to children now. We can call to their attention the fact that we often shut people out because of things like skin color or age or religious belief. As a society, we have taught our children to ‘know’ the outcasts who don’t belong. Such discrimination may be based upon wealth or poverty, intelligence or limited skills, or any number of superficial traits. Children are taught to ‘know’ that being too big or too little, too quick or too slow can often influence acceptability. Jesus accepts and welcomes all, including those who are rejected by society. As Christians, we are called to do the same!Back to top