Chapter 10: "Tell Me a Story"
Perspectives on Children from the Acts of the Apostles
Joel B. Green
Though Mr. Green begins by contrasting all the references to children in Luke's gospel to noticeably few in Acts, somehow, he finds them!
He begins by pointing out that the long narratives from the Old Testament are full of references to children. He points out that not only did God take care of them in the dire circumstances referenced in the OT but they are critical to God keeping His promises to Israel. [TCITB p. 216]
Green says, "[S]harply put, the narrative of Acts provides us with almost nothing by way of raw material for assembling how we might think about children or act toward them. However, Acts does promote the formation of communities and persons-in-community whose discipleship of Jesus, whose allegiance to God, and whose empowerment by the Holy Spirit lead to dispositions and practices of faith and hospitality among children, together with other inhabitants of the margins of our world." [TCITB p. 217]
He discusses "household baptism" with it's implications for baptizing children reminding us that the practice emphasized the value of infants in a culture that didn't value infants. [TCITB p 217]
He discusses the "importance of narrative in identity development and moral formation". [TCITB p. 218] He shares some fascinating thoughts about how "story" shapes our identity and practices culturally and Biblically. [TCITB p. 219] This is a must-read!
He discusses "the narrative of conversion" particularly in the context of community - focusing less on the individual and more on the larger scheme of the purposes of God in ways you probably haven't heard before. [TCITB p. 222-223]
He refers to Luke, making astute observations about the intermingling and shaking of old and new as the early church emerged with implications for today. [TCITB p. 223-224]
His short but succinct reminder that "there is no escaping the inclusion of children in the 'all flesh' of Acts 2:37 "and his comments are inclusive and affirming of children sharing and communicating God's vision with the faith community. [TCITB p. 224]
Mr. Green discusses the inter-relationship between the early church's proclamation of the Resurrection and her voluntarily selling her possessions in order to give and to care for the needy [TCITB p. 226-227].
He talks about the deliverance of children being used for financial gain [TCITB p. 227], and attention to otherwise endangered children [TCITB p. 227].
His discussion of home, household, hospitality, and the presence of God in unexpected places is profound in part, but not exclusively, because children live in homes. The implications are far-reaching and worth pondering . . . [TCITB p. 227-228]
Mr Green succeeds finding children and implications for the church today regarding children in a place where they are hard to find. Alot to ponder in this chapter.