Our Children’s Holiday Club this year (July 30th to August 3rd) is called ‘Guardians of Ancora’. It’s based on material from Scripture Union, who developed a computer game called ‘The Guardians of Ancora’ designed to teach children about Jesus. If you have a tablet or smartphone, apple, android, or kindle, you can play. Adults like it too (I speak from experience!).
In the game you have to move your person around different places and follow Jesus, in order to pick up and ‘collect’ stories about him, which are taken of course straight from the Gospels. It has adventures to follow, quizzes, stories to listen to, and videos to see. And you also have to collect sheep – it makes sense when you try it! A new story about Jesus appears every month. It’s soon to be available in German, Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, and Welsh. The designers say it is intended to help children explore their relationship with God and the Bible.
Isn’t that amazing? The Gospel of Jesus Christ began as good news, told by eye-witnesses, written down bit by bit on parchments by hand, and then the four Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Since then the good news of Jesus has been copied by hand, taken around the world, printed, bound, televised, broadcast, and digitalized. And yet still today there are people groups around the world who do not know anything about it. Indeed many in our western society today know very little about him – hence this game. The church’s job in every age is to introduce – or re-introduce – people to Jesus Christ.
How amazing that the good news is able to be translated into other languages, distributed by all kinds of media, and received and believed by every kind of person, from a first century nomad to a twenty-first century computer gamer. Praise God for the gift of communication!
Jesus came as the Word of God, preaching the kingdom of God, and what he said and did – along with the apostolic explanations of it – were added to our Bibles to give us the word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit who still helps us to understand it and apply it to our lives today. Jesus particularly commends ‘those who hear God’s word and put it into practice’ (Luke 8:21).
Through these weeks of Summer, which are frantic for some, leisurely for others, slow and dragging for others, maybe you could find a way to hear the good news afresh, and pass it on to others. We’ll be seeking to do just that at our Holiday Club – please pray for it!
With my best wishes – James.