366 days...it was a leap year.
All of it spent dwelling in three chapters of the Bible. Matthew 5, 6 & 7.
It's changed my life. I'll never preach again without the Sermon on the Mount influencing everything I say. I'll never be able to walk through life again without snippets of this sermon floating around in my head.
I'm grateful. I needed this sermon this year. Our church needed this sermon this year.
But as I place my commentaries and resources from this series back on my bookshelf, I find myself a bit saddened. These books and these red letters have been my companions for the past 12 months.
I believe the Sermon on the Mount is the center of Scripture. It's Jesus' central message. It's the life we're called to live as followers of Jesus. It's "The Good Life."
It seems impossible. But at the moment I sense the sermon's hardest pinch in my life, I'm relieved to listen again to the first word out of Jesus' mouth in chapter 5...
And that's the way I feel at the end of 2012.
If you've spent the year wandering through Matthew 5-7 with me, feel free to use this as a resource in the future. Pass it on to friends and loved ones.
If you're stumbling upon this blog for the first time in this post, perhaps you'd like to start a similar journey through the Sermon on the Mount this year. The thoughts and questions found on this blog are just bread crumbs I've left for you to find your way toward "The Good Life" that Jesus offers.
Let me conclude with the list of resources I used this year as we journeyed through the Sermon on the Mount.
-Matthew 5-7 (the indispensable words of Jesus)
-Living the Sermon on the Mount - Glen Stassen
-The Divine Conspiracy - Dallas Willard
-The Good and Beautiful Life - James Bryan Smith
-Heaven on Earth - Josh Graves & Chris Seidman
-Lucky - Glenn Packiam
-Matthew and the Margins - Warren Carter
-Matthew For Everyone - N. T. Wright
-Various Commentaries - (Word Biblical Commentary & Interpretation)