I hope that you engage in regular Bible study. Not a little Bible reading, a little snippet of a verse for a devotional. There is value in that to be sure, and I start my day that way as well. You know, Bible study somewhere between reading a verse to start the day and a full on exegetical study for seminary. Bible study.
I have been involved in two Bible studies; the lectionary and Bible characters. I will be the first to admit, I sort of lost my place in the lectionary. Lent came, with different sorts of obligations and I wasn’t fully vested in the lectionary. I am returned to it, and I do enjoy it (and you can read about that tomorrow). The second study is one that I have been doing with my little clan of sixth graders. In the Fall we learned about Old Testament Bible characters and during the spring we have been exploring folks in the New Testament. It has been very educational for me to learn with them about these folks.
I will give a shout out to the curriculum we are using, published by Sparkhouse, it is reForm: Ancestors. It was written specifically for middle schoolers, those 11 – 13ish, so it does portray some of the characters in a rather buffoonish light. And in some cases that is more reality than portrayal, but the huge thing that it teaches is the reality of these characters. My gang of scholars has learned, a little painfully, that some of the folks that were really played UP when they were children, were not the great people they were told they were. For example, Samson was not a person that you might want as a friend. We even talked about how that made us feel to discover that hard fact.
Most importantly they learned and I recalled that the people in the Bible, our Ancestors, are people. Flawed, goofy, characters that were loved by God. They followed Jesus even when they didn’t know what he was up to, and still managed to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Jump into the thin places the Bible offers.