In October 2021, Virginia Seminary’s Lifelong Learning program held an online symposium on the spirituality of children. (Registration and $45.00 required to access.) One of the speakers was Dr. Laura Alary, a storyteller, author, and educator headquartered in Toronto. Her presentation, entitled “What is This Story Doing to Me? Biblical Storytelling for a Global Generation,” focused on the guiding principles behind her full-length story Bible for children, Read Wonder Listen, published in 2018.
REVIEW: Read Wonder Listen: Stories from the Bible for Young Readers with the words of Laura Alary and the pictures of Ann Sheng. Kelowna, BC, Canada: Wood Lake Publishing, 2018. 239 pages.
In her presentation at the Lifelong Learning symposium, Dr. Laura Alary notes that the church (as also the synagogue) has historically understood that scripture is complex, nuanced, multivocal, and subject to continued reinterpretation. For these reasons, she explains, “reading the Bible requires a framework or lens that allows us to measure individual texts in the light of the whole and its purpose.” For Christians, this means a framework that is based on the Good News as revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus.
In the light of the specific context and challenges confronting the people of God today, she names six characteristics that emerge from the overriding arc of God’s self-revelation in scripture and are made flesh in Christ. This “Rule of Faith” or ultimate message of scripture, she declares, is inclusive, universal, truthful, peaceful, open, and loving.
Scripture is complex, nuanced, multivocal, and subject to continued reinterpretation. How do we tell its stories faithfully, situating them in their context within the unfolding narrative, while always looking to the end point of that narrative, God’s full self-revelation in Jesus Christ?
But this message of the Bible is not consistently evident on every page. And since we must break up the Bible into smaller parts in order to read or tell or teach it, especially with children, how do we tell its stories faithfully, situating them in their context within the unfolding narrative, while always looking to the end point of that narrative, God’s full self-revelation in Jesus Christ?Continue reading “Written for Our Learning”