Well. We have finished another online study together and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have! It’s been really unique to study Jesus’ life so closely during Advent, going far beyond His birth and reading and pondering some of His greatest teachings. This baby we celebrate at Christmas was God-in-flesh and as He grew as a human, He taught us many wise and wonderful lessons. Did you have a favorite “take away” from this study in Matthew? Share in the comments if you’d like to do so.

I think mine was a renewed appreciation of Christ’s wisdom and how contrary many of His teachings were to my selfish human inclinations. Jesus challenges us to live radically different from the world, and this study in Matthew shook me up at times, as I remembered His words anew.

What’s next? Well, first of all, Marlene suggests we finish reading the Gospel of Matthew. Which makes perfect sense. Just continue following our 4R Method and writing in your journal. May this sweet practice of a quiet time, just you and Him, draw you ever nearer to the One who loves you best!

Coming in March, we’ll have a new online study leading us through Easter and pointing us toward Pentecost, that wonderful celebration where the early church first felt the Presence of the Holy Spirit within them. The study is called “I Am Not Alone: Ministries of the Holy Spirit.” It’s written by our own Melissa Price, who moderates our online studies on the App and sometimes on Facebook, too. It’s our first topical study and I am SO excited about it! Make a note of March 1st as the date we begin.

And before I close out this study … let’s also give Marlene McKenna a huge thank you for her beautiful commentary, leading us through Matthew this past month. Having done many online study commentaries in the past, I can attest to the amount of work and prayer and seeking after God that it takes to prepare adequately. Thank you, Marlene, for your gift of time and also vulnerability as you shared with us each day.

And a thank you to all of you who followed along either silently or actively. Doing this together, learning from one another, just “knowing” we are all curled up on a couch or chair somewhere reading the same passage and seeking the same Spirit to illuminate it for us, brings me great joy.

May God bless and prosper you in the new year.

You are loved! Sharon


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