Some Father's Day Help
In honor of Father's Day this Sunday, I'd like to help you dads (and moms) teach something to your kids. It's something that can serve your kid for a lifetime. And the sooner they learn it, the better. I'm talking about the books of the Bible.
Learning the books of the Bible might not seem like such an important thing to learn, but it's really one of the building blocks of Christian growth. It allows us to have a better handle of what the Bible teaches, and it lays a foundation to build on the rest of our lives. For example, I can recall the history of Israel better because I know the order of the books of the Bible.
Learning the books of the Bible can seem like big challenge, but God has given us an amazing tool for learning and teaching—music (Col 3:16). Any parent can tell you how quickly kids learn something if it's put to a song, and the same is true for the books of the Bible.
For the Old Testament, you might try a song to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw" (a fast-paced American folk song). You (or your kids) might recognize it as the tune used for the state capitals song by Wakko in the cartoon Animaniacs, or as the song used by your beloved ice cream truck. The verses below are in italics, and the faster-paced chorus is in bold. Here's how it goes:
Well the Bible starts with Law / the books that Moses wrote for us
First it’s Genesis and Exodus / and then Leviticus
Then it’s Numbers-Deuteronomy / these books you must believe
And now that we have Israel / then comes her history
Joshua and Judges and then it’s Ruth
Samuel and Kings then Chronicles of truth
Ezra-Nehemiah—when the Israelites come back
And then there’s Esther’s story where they’re saved from an attack
There is Job and Psalms and Proverbs / they’re the books of poetry
And Ecclesiastes tells us all / that life is vanity
Then we have the Song of Solomon / where marriage is a ball
And then come all the prophets / which I hope I can recall
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations too
Ezekiel and Daniel, now we’re almost through
Hosea, Joel, and Amos, and then we have Obadiah
Jonah, Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk, Zephaniah
Just three more prophets, and then we’re done
Now that you can say them, go tell everyone
Haggai, Zechariah, and we’re almost at good bye
Before you go you gotta know: the last is Malachi
That’s the Old Testament… for you!
For the New Testament, you might try a song to the tune of "Yankee Doodle." The verses of the song are in italics (think "Yankee Doodle went to town..."), and the chorus is in bold (think "Yankee Doodle keep it up..."). The song goes like this:
Matthew, Mark and Luke and John
They gave us the four gospels
After Jesus then we have
The Acts of the Apostles
Paul wrote letters to the church
Romans, Two Corinthians
Galatians and Ephesians
Next Two Thessalonians
And then epistles to men
Two letters to Timothy
Then Titus and Philemon
Someone had a message sent
To the Hebrew nation
James, two Peters, three by John
Then Jude and Revelation
Give it a try! You might be surprised how quickly you learn the books if you sing these songs for a couple of days! If you don't learn the books right away, don't get frustrated. Just keep singing the song.
You might realize that the next time we turn to Nehemiah in a Sunday service, the person next to you will be humming the same tune.
Blessings in Christ.