One of my secret joys of being a Children’s Minister is that I have a good excuse to find and read Christian children’s books. It’s the best! I’ll often go searching for new ones during the holidays because it’s a bit quieter. Last week I stumbled across a new book called God’s Very Good Idea: A true story about God’s delightfully different family by Trillia Newbell. It’s part of the Good Book Company’s series called Tales that Tell the Truth (which includes The Garden, The Curtain and The Cross, which is one of my favourites!). I thought I was buying a book about diversity. I was excited because I’d love a good resource on helping kids think through how to love those who are different from them. But what I got was so much better. It’s really a book about the gospel!
The story goes like this…
In the beginning God had a very good idea! His very good idea was to make people in his image to love him and to love each other. So God made people. All people are different but they are also all the same because they are made in God’s image and valued equally by him.
But then we see that people ruined God’s good idea. All people choose not to love God and because of this all people need forgiveness.
But this was not a surprise to God! He had always planned to rescue his very good idea. He sent Jesus to die so that we might be forgiven. When we are forgiven God gives us his Spirit who helps us to love God and love each other.
One day God will send Jesus to finish his very good idea. When he comes there will be people from every tribe, language and nation in heaven, loving God and loving each other. But the good news is that we don’t have to wait til then! Jesus welcomes anyone who trusts in him. God’s family is full of different people loving God and loving each other.
I love so many things about this book!
1. Its pictures are wonderfully and captivatingly detailed. Bright and fun, they fill in details and give meaning to the story told through the text.
2. Its engagement with diversity is biblical and helpful. Differences between people are very obvious to children. The book points out these obvious differences and teaches kids to see them from God’s point of view. God loves each of us equally and he made us to love each other, even those who are different from us. This is a wonderful result of being part of God’s family and should be celebrated and enjoyed. What a great reminder to kids and adults alike!
3. It shares the gospel. Woven through a story about diversity, God’s plan from creation to new creation is clearly shown. This makes it both another tool for parents discipling their own children and a great tool for sharing the gospel with friends and family.
At around $15 from Koorong or Book Depository, this book would make a wonderful Christmas present! I plan to give it to my nieces and nephews. I want them to grow up knowing all about God’s very good idea: lots of different people enjoying loving him and loving each other. God made it. People ruined it. He rescued it. He will finish it.