TELL ME THE STORIES OF JESUS
William H. Parker, 1845–1929
He explained to them what was said in all of the Scriptures concerning Himself. (Luke 24:27)
Children love to hear stories. It is critically important that we build upon this natural response and fill their minds with truths about Christ that will give them a solid foundation upon which to build their lives. Although Sunday schools are important, parental influence and instruction in the home are foundations of Christian education. The stories of Jesus—His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and His promised return to take us to heaven—for the child of God of any age are always fresh, exciting, and spiritually refreshing. They never grow old.
Telling the stories of Jesus must also be the mission of our Sunday schools. Portrayals of the person and work of Christ must always be the core of every Christian education curriculum along with appropriate songs that enhance the teaching of the Scriptures. Although such emphases as character school, arts and crafts, and game times have their place in the church program, nothing ever equals the importance of providing our youth with sound, relevant biblical instruction.
William H. Parker was an English Baptist layman greatly interested in the work of Sunday schools. He wrote this text in 1885 after returning from teaching his Sunday school class and reflecting upon the oft-repeated request of the children, “Teacher, tell us another story.” This text pictures so vividly the important events of our Lord’s life from Galilee to Calvary.
Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear; things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here: Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea, stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
First let me hear how the children stood round His knee; and I shall fancy His blessing resting on me: Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace, all in the lovelight of Jesus’ face.
Into the city I’d follow the children’s band, waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand; one of His heralds, yes, I would sing loudest hosannas! Jesus is King.
Show me that scene in the garden, of bitter pain. Show me the cross where my Savior for me was slain. Sad ones or bright ones, so that they be stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
For Today: Deuteronomy 6:7; Isaiah 40:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Mark 8:31
Consider creative ways that biblical truths can be communicated to children—visual aids, dramatizations, musical records—both at home and in Sunday school. Seriously reflect as a parent (or a grandparent) whether you are doing everything possible to further your children’s spiritual training.