“Davey and Goliath” was a briefly running television series in the 60s and 70s. The clay-animated characters featured a young boy (Davey) and his dog (Goliath) and the adventures they had touched on broadly religious and social themes. The creators of the series were previously known for their work on “Gumby,” another popular clay-animated series. The series was funded by the United Lutheran Church in America, one of the many predecessor church bodies to eventually become the ELCA (PoP’s denominational identity). The show aired 66 episodes* and remained in syndication for children’s television programming around the country for a number of years.
It’s fitting that the creators of this show would tap into one of the most widely-known stories of the Bible by naming the main characters after the shepherd boy and the giant whom he toppled (this is our featured story on Sunday). The show didn’t have to be overtly religious while still putting matters of faith front and center for viewers. And, the parallels between Davey & Goliath storylines and the stories chronicled in scripture were easily drawn. I imagine a generation of Sunday school students excitedly connecting the dots between what they had just watched on Saturday mornings with what they were hearing again on Sunday. This is the power of storytelling.
Do you remember watching Davey & Goliath? Have you shared this show with your kids, grandkids or others? What other television shows are memorable from your childhood or for your children? What lessons or themes do you remember learning?
At a time when our communities were grappling with racism, social injustices, and war, I suspect Davey and Goliath helped lots of families find a way to explore these difficult and important topics. We’re still dealing with these same issues and others just as big and equally as daunting. The stories available to us in scripture are still a resource for helping us make sense of the world in which God has placed us and we might respond to God’s vision. My hope is that we keep getting better at telling the stories.
May God’s peace find you this day. -Pastor Peter
Let us pray…
Gracious God, help us to become better storytellers, building on the efforts of those who have come before, and continue revealing your truths for the sake of the world. Amen.
*All the episodes of Davey & Goliath plus the specials are available to watch on YouTube here.