It seems good to share some of my rationale for using a children’s fairy tale as a major part of a sermon, as I did on Pentecost. I do not do this just as a novelty. There is theological and doctrinal justification for this approach. In the CRC we have a pastor in Calgary who has basically spearheaded the application of this approach. His name is John Van Sloten, and you can find out what his sermons created using this approach are like here: https://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/contributors/john-van-sloten
The approach (I couldn’t find anywhere he had explained it from his perspective so I will explain how I understand it) fascinates me. So I have tried it with a few sermons. You experienced one of them. I also have used “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr Seuss as an introduction to Transition and STM work. And I have done sermons where the story of Pinocchio seems, to those raised with “its not a sermon unless he reads from the bible” to be the main text. I always do have bible passages in view, but this is such a change for people that all they remember is “He preached a fairy tale.”
All of this approach is rooted in Article 2 of the Belgic Confession, which reads as follows:
We know God by two means:
First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe,
since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures,
great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God:
God’s eternal power and divinity, as the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20.
All these things are enough to convict humans and to leave them without excuse.
Second, God makes himself known to us more clearly
by his holy and divine Word,
as much as we need in this life, for God’s glory
and for our salvation.
What that Belgic Confession article is pointing to is that God’s creation itself contains “writing” that points to God. The way things hold together, the beauty and mystery of living things, are like a book that can be read for clues about the invisible things of God. Hence the Reformed interest in science as a field in which we seek to learn about not just creation, but God. When read well, these things are enough to teach people about who God is and what God is all about. Enough, says Article 2, that they have no excuse for not knowing God, even if creation is the only “book” about God that they have. This is one reason I admire some historical cultures that did not have the second book, the Bible, yet created a creation-and-creator respecting culture in which they acknowledged a mysterious higher power in the universe. It is really quite amazing! It is also why I get quite irate at a history of Bible carrying people who came and dismissed the spirituality and faith that the Bible-less people had. But I digress.
A further implication of this “first book” understanding is that God’s truth can be found anywhere in creation, because God is communicating through it. A next understanding then is that whatever humans create has a likelihood of having God’s truth “in” it. Therefore, when someone like Hans Christian Andersen or Dr Seuss or Carlo Collodi write stories that reflect such deep and Biblical truths, they are fair game as one of the “scriptures” for a sermon.