WIlliam H. Parker, 1845-1929

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, [Jesus] expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things 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. The key is, use the other instruction as a tool to point to God and teach His Word!

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 love light of Jesus’ face.

Tell me, in accents of wonder, how rolled the sea,
Tossing the boat in a tempest on Galilee;
And how the Maker, ready and kind,
Chided the billows, and hushed the wind.

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.

[Then to the tomb I would follow, no more to grieve.
"He is not here; He is risen!" News I'd receive!
So I will share this news far and near
And when I see Him, "Well done" I'll hear!]

(JMS: my addition 3/21/07. The last verse was a sad story, but the stories of Jesus don't end at the cross, hallelujah!)

*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 recordings--both at home and in Sunday School. Seriously reflect as a parent (or a grandparent, aunt, or uncle) whether you are doing everything possible to further your children's spiritual training.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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