(Today we begin a series of posts about the “whole story” of the Bible. I plan to run one every week, on Tuesdays, with a printable PDF. The printable includes a brief 2-3 paragraph introduction, Bible passages to read, a key verse, 5-7 thought/discussion questions, and 2-3 activities for the kids.)
Every story has certain elements in order to be a story. We often think of characters first–somebody has to act in the story, and there’s usually a hero, or protagonist. Usually, though not always, there’s also an adversary, or antagonist. And then, of course, something has to happen. Some kind of problem develops, or a conflict arises, that the hero has to solve or resolve. The plot develops around this conflict and resolution, working its way to a climax.
But there’s another story element that we often overlook, and that’s the setting. In some contemporary stories, the setting is not especially consequential: it could be any modern city, or Midwestern small town. But in historical fiction, or science fiction, or regional fiction, the setting leans in, shaping a plot that couldn’t take place anywhere else, or in any other time. (I wrote about the importance of setting in great westerns on my other website.)
The Bible story also starts with setting: the heavens and the earth. We often pass over it in order to get to characters and plot, but for this week, let’s linger and think about what the setting means for this particular story. What meaning is packed into the very first sentence of the world’s greatest story?
Here’s the download for our first week:
I neglected to add a Key Verse to the download, so I’ll put it here: Genesis 1:31–
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.