Family of God

Demons cringe at his presence and know who he is. They submit to his authority and release those they hold captive at the sound of his name. They become obedient to his will and cannot escape his reach. Some think this is because demons and Jesus are “family.”  In Mark’s gospel, Jesus has authority over demons because he is releasing people to join his family, the family of God.

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It’s Time

2018-01-02 15.07.40

The new year has begun. Get used to writing 2018 on your checks (if you still use those) or anyplace that requires today’s date. For many of us, we are pissed at 2017. 2017 didn’t treat us well and may have only seemed to be full of disappointment, hurt, and loss. But 2018 feels like a new start, with new possibilities and second chances. It’s time to make room for new… again. Continue reading →

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Welcome Home

2017-12-19 14.07.29What do you think of when you hear,“Merry Christmas”?

The early years of Jesus’ life do not appear to be merry and bright. His family’s story is met with darkness, it was a brutal time.   Continue reading →

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Unexpected Belief

2017-12-05 14.24.34Mary accepted the angelic message that she would give birth to a son conceived by the Holy Spirit. She did not choose this pregnancy but she accepted it. Her husband Joseph does not believe her story (do you blame him?). He wants to be faithful to the law and show compassion to his wife by divorcing her privately. He may have chosen Mary to be his wife but he did not choose this pregnancy. Yet, like Mary, Joseph accepted Jesus as his son despite this unexpected event.

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An Unlikely List

2017-11-28 14.02.47We all have an interest in where we came from. We are also interested in other people’s stories. We ask each other, “Where did you grow up?” and “Who are your parents?” Yet, sometimes we may withhold some details in our family tree or the events surrounding a loved one’s conception and birth. Not Matthew. In the opening of his gospel, he stuns the world with an unlikely list of names found in Jesus’ family tree. There is no pattern of righteous, just a list of everyday people. Matthew wants us to see what kind of people God chooses to work with. I am surprised and yet I’m not.

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Little Sinners Love Little

2017-11-21 11.44.45When Jesus was visiting the home of a Pharisee named Simon a woman washed His feet with her tears, kissed them, and poured perfume on them. Simon was repulsed and referred to her as “[that] kind of woman” and a “sinner.” Who do we most identify with in this story? I think most church people identify with the Pharisee and for this I have a theory.

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Better Than a Time Machine

2017-11-07 13.39.35Recently, I had trouble going to sleep. I finally feel asleep only to wake up early. Why? I was replaying a scene in my head where someone had been offended and I was the offender. Maybe you can relate. You replay the scene like a choose your own adventure book. You relive the moment but this time, in your thoughts you say the right thing and do the right thing. If only we could change the past, right? Better yet, if only we could forgive ourselves. What if I told you that forgiveness is giving up the fantasy that the past could be any different.

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Catching Fire

2017-10-31 13.35.24“It is so good to still have you with us Jesus. We thought we’d lost you but here you are in the flesh. Those three days without you felt like an eternity but now that you’ve been with us for about, how long has it been? A little over a month? We couldn’t imagine life without you and we are ready for what comes next. So, me and the guys were wondering when are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel? What was that, Jesus? You’re leaving?”

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Just-for-Men-Preacher

2017-10-24 12.09.07“But you’re so young.” This was the concern of many minister search teams when I was interviewing for my next ministry. Once I responded with, “I’m thirty-five years old, it’s not like I’m living in my mom’s basement playing Halo.” I listened to my wife’s counsel not to respond to that concern in that way again. What we might be prone to think is that we want our leaders to have arrived. What if instead we desired that our leaders and ourselves be ever-growing. Continue reading →

Posted by jovanbarrington in Spiritual Formation
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