When the Sunday School Story Comes Alive

Engaging Sunday School storyMay you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Eph 3:18-19 (NLT)

Ignoring my itchy church dress and stiff Mary Janes, I absorbed the Sunday school story with rapt attention. I eagerly completed the take-home crossword puzzle and fill-in-the-blank review. All those stories stacked up in my heart – Noah’s animal pairs filling the ark, Moses parting the Red Sea, Mary giving birth in a stable, a boy’s picnic lunch feeding a crowd, and of course, the cross and Easter.

Which Sunday School stories do you remember?

Each story held the same simple message. Jesus loves you. Believe in Him and you’ll go to heaven. The Golden Rule was also a frequent lesson.

Though I loved those stories, Scripture truly grabbed hold of me in my first adult Bible study. Studying the Bible from beginning to end connected those Sunday school tales to tell one overarching story: God loves humanity and desires a relationship with us. From Genesis to Revelation God has persistently, consistently, and faithfully pursued us. Scripture tells the depth of His love and the lengths He will go to reclaim us.

How can a collection of books, written over thousands of years and by many different authors, tell one story? How can the prophet Isaiah, who lived 700 years before Jesus, describe the circumstances of His birth (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6) and crucifixion (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)? 

I find only one possible answer: it’s True. True with a capital ‘T’.
And if it’s True, it matters.

It’s True but not literal. The Truth is found in the message the author communicated to his original audience. The author’s context is crucial to extracting his meaning. We must try our best to walk in his sandals, to explore his land, language, traditions, livelihood, family dynamics, politics, beliefs, and expectations. Equipped with this background, the stories come alive and we can hear a message that translates to our life and times.

Why do I write this blog? Because I want to help you discover God’s unfathomable love. Think of it as a connect-the-dots activity – a page covered in dots. As we draw connecting lines between the dots, an image takes shape. We can guess the basic picture as soon as an outline emerges, but the image becomes more detailed as connections continue.

You might already feel God’s love for you, but that love will grow deeper as the picture becomes more intricate. And your love for Him will grow as well. I want you to develop a personal relationship with the God who persistently pursues you with deep and wide love.

Click on these links to watch me teach about ancient contract signing or to read why angels first announced Jesus’ birth to Bethlehem’s shepherds.

#SeedsofScripture #Godsloveneverfails #deepandwide #contextmatters #readthebiblebetter


  1. JD Wininger on January 27, 2023 at 7:30 AM

    Amen! What I think doesn’t matter. Who and what I believe does. Great thoughts here today Ms. Cathy. Thank you ma’am.

    • CathyChung on January 27, 2023 at 10:14 AM

      Did you have J.D. favorite Bible stories as a kid? When were you introduced to the Lord?

      • J.D. Wininger on February 5, 2023 at 12:34 PM

        Heard many of them in different Sunday Schools through those early years, but in all honesty, even though my biological went to church often, God was far removed from my daily life. I’d read some of those stories and felt them to be exactly that, stories. In that little boy’s mind, they were fictional accounts (much like Huckleberry Finn or the Hardy Boys), but they were meant to either teach me fearfulness or teach me how bad and unworthy I was. It wasn’t until God showed me how His Words change lives and how His Words create love that I came to begin seeing them as truth, as non-fiction. It’s when His words were lived out as examples within my adopted family that I was drawn to Him.

        • CathyChung on February 7, 2023 at 7:56 AM

          They were fictional stories for me too. They had a nice message but didn’t resonate deeply until I was a mother of 3 who had lost her own mother.

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