Many a Bible study teacher has confided in me that he feels he is learning more about applying the scripture to life than his students are. Or she might say that she discovers more studying for the lesson than she ever had when she simply participated in the class. I’ve found this to be true myself—discovering greater, deeper truths when I’m preparing for teaching than a cursory reading of the Bible would grant.

This week our halls will be filled with children who will be challenged to dig below the surface. Old familiar stories—Jesus & Zacchaeus, Jesus & the Woman at the Well, Jesus & Nicodemus, Jesus & a Blind Man, and Jesus & the Children—will be presented with the goal of finding more than the surface meaning behind the story. Our hope is that children will come to see that Christianity and life are much deeper than what they seem on the surface, and that Jesus cares about those deeper parts of our lives.

Perhaps with this in mind we can help our children (and maybe even challenge ourselves) to be more than just casual in our approach to living our faith in the real world. As Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key sang several years ago, “I don’t wanna be, I don’t wanna be a casual Christian/I don’t wanna live, I don’t wanna live a lukewarm life/Because I wanna light up the night/With an everlasting light/ I don’t wanna live the casual Christian life.”

“Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food.”   (Hebrews 5:12)