Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

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Belong & Become, Week 5, Day 35

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ROMANS 12:15 | 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Children stretch our emotional range tremendously. When things go south they respond as if the world is ending and are inconsolable except by their parents. When things go well they feel as if they’ve won the lottery and are exempt from taxes, and they want you to share their joy. This pattern of extreme feelings may occur 10 times in one day!

Children stretch our emotional ranges tremendously. So should life in the church. Rejoicing with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. The security of our connections with each other depends on our capacity to enter into one another’s lives and hearts, so we can share emotions. Then others know we stand with them.

How wide is your emotional range?

Who stretched it?

How are you using it in connection with others?


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in Lent

Belong & Become, Week 5, Day 34

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MARK 14:37-40 | 37 He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? 38 Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him.

The sad truth of our human situation is portrayed in these verses. Peter, James, and John all fail Jesus in his moment of need! Now we can make excuses. They had a very long day and an exhausting period of ministry. They knew confrontation and pain and trauma were coming and fear makes us tired. But the truth us “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Jesus is gracious even in this hard moment to his friends. He does not condemn their hearts or characters but assumes they wanted to help and failed.

This kind of generosity when others fail us is a key to community life It is also the reason we have teams to keep up with pastoral care and why we establish lines of communication. Our congregational care and deacon ministries are wonderful. But the members of VPC are the first line of defense, and the first responders in many cases.

Are you generous when others fail?

Do you see yourself as an agent of care and compassion in our community?


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