Over these last couple of months, our GCMs have been reading through Mark together. These studies are different than what we have normally done. There are no pre-determined questions, no unique study guides for each chapter… nope, we essentially open up the text and take it from there.
And I have loved it.
Here are 4 reasons why:
- We’re learning how to read. For many of us, we know that we should read the Bible, but if we were to be honest, we don’t know how. During these studies, we are essentially learning how to read – fundamental things like considering the context, noticing repetition, seeing the importance of particular words. We’re not just reading the Bible, we’re developing skills to be better readers of the Bible.
- We’re learning how to read slowly. There’s something beautiful to slowing down and picking apart the Bible. I don’t know about you, but life for me always seems rushed, and it’s easy to approach reading God’s word in that way too. Often I find myself quickly reading a passage and even an hour later not remembering a single thing that it had to say. This has felt different. In reading slowly, in taking time to notice the finer details, I have found myself not only remembering what the passage said, but even more naturally applying it to life.
- We’re learning to see the richness of God’s word. One aspect that I have thoroughly enjoyed about reading Mark together is how often someone else in my GCM will bring up something that had never occurred to me. I’ve read that passage a hundred times, but I had never seen that before. That’s awesome. It reminds me that I never will exhaust the truths found in the Scriptures and also that my community, through the Spirit’s help, is instrumental in helping me seeing things that I wouldn’t naturally see for myself.
- We’re learning that Jesus was never random. Sherin and I were driving home after GCM on Sunday and she said “It’s amazing how much Jesus was purposeful about everything that He did, right?” It’s true. Teaching the crowds. Silencing the unclean spirits. Praying before the day began. Touching the leper. None of it was random, and not a single moment was wasted. His time on earth was limited, and so every interaction was measured. It challenges me to think more deeply about the why of what He said and did.
It’s been great so far and I’m excited to keep going. May these times continually lead us to deeper love for Jesus through His word.