When you think about attending Sunday school, have you ever thought, “But I don’t really want to go.”? Surely. What are your reasons for that? Too tired. Don’t feel like seeing people. Not interested in the class. Easier to sit at home. My kids don’t want to go. It’s too much trouble to get the kids ready.
Will you let me give you a reason to go? I’m convinced from my own experience (before I was a pastor) and from what God says that attending Sunday school is one of the means God uses to keep us awake to the things of God. And I need help staying awake. So do my children. So do yours. So do you.
Jesus told his followers, “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Mt 24:42). Jesus is being very direct with us. He’s warning us to stay awake because our judgment before God is at stake. What does he mean by “stay awake?” In the natural, we are lulled into interpreting life according to the spirit of the age, not according to the Spirit of God. When we do this, we are sleeping, not staying awake. Examples? Life is all about me, instead of life is all about the glory of God. Parenting is for my delight and that of my children, instead of for making disciples that enjoy and display God’s glory. Trials are annoying obstacles to accomplishing my will, instead of tools for God to accomplish his deeper will in my life.
Staying awake is hard for everyone: adults, teens, and children. We all drift away from a God-centered perspective on life to a man and self centered perspective. What can we do to fight the drift and stay awake? Be regularly reading and thinking about the scriptures. Be hearing the scriptures preached accurately (where the main point of the scripture passage is the main point of the sermon). Be getting together with other Christians to study the scriptures. Can’t I just pick one of these? Well, one probably isn’t enough to keep you awake. You need to set your mind on God’s words over and over.
First Baptist has a history of studying the scriptures on Sunday morning in age appropriate classes. I’ve been around this church only 9 years, but I’ll bet the church founders started Sunday school classes very early on in the church’s history. Why? Because they gave weight to Jesus’ warning to stay awake. I too am asking you to give weight to studying the scriptures in Sunday school classes. Come for the sake of your own soul and that of your children. Don’t come to be entertained, but come to be exposed and taught the word of God in ways that cannot be done in your personal bible reading or in a good sermon.
Adults, please come to the adult Sunday school class. I’ll be leading a study of the book of Revelation this fall and winter, picking up in chapter 10. Don’t worry if you haven’t come before; you’ll be fine jumping in here.
Staying awake with you. ~Pastor Tim