Diving Deep

April 13th, 2014

In the late 1960s, my family lived in a suburb north of Dallas. We had a swimming pool in the backyard that became an oasis each summer from the Texas heat. As an anxious, sun-freckled first grader, I would cling for dear life to the smooth concrete lip of the pool and inch my way around the edge from shallows to deep and back again.

Under threat of spending the summer as a poolside spectator, my mother convinced me to take swimming lessons at a local community center. There I learned to tread water and swim with a group of kids—never alone—under the guidance of zinc-nosed lifeguards who would only intervene if we couldn’t keep our heads above water.

Swimming lessons turned out to be quite a gift—a life skill that translated seamlessly to every swimming hole, lake, ocean, and motel pool I’ve had to navigate in the last forty-five years.

In this issue of Circuit Rider, we look at the importance of in-depth Bible study for the life of faith. From a pastor’s devotional reading to the academic study of the Bible in seminary, contributors focus on the fine art of reading the Bible, listening to the many voices that are within scripture and that are echoed in the community gathered by its witness.

For these pastors and scholars, scripture has a destination, a fitting context found in the living conversations of committed groups. Here thoughtful wrestling with the mystery of faith recalibrates our views of God and God’s call to mend and restore the shattered wholeness of a fragile, corrupt world.

As pastors and Christian educators already know, it is in the context of small group scripture study that many discover a new/renewed calling to leadership, ministry, and service—a call to move from shallow faith to deep commitment.

And maybe it’s only a biblically literate faith that can develop into the spiritual maturity measured by the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13). This faith will not hang timidly at the edge of the pool, and it never swims alone. Instead, it dives deep for the “lasting more” found only by following Christ into the depths.

comments powered by Disqus