Joy Mosbarger

To Hope From Despair

By Joy Mosbarger Apr. 16, 2014 9:00 a.m. Theology, Old Testament, Spiritual Formation

The week from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday must have been an emotional rollercoaster for the disciples, Jesus’ friends and family, and Jesus himself. Together they experienced the triumphant celebration of Palm Sunday, the poignant fellowship of the Last Supper, the deep despair of the cross, and the amazing joy of the resurrection. In Ezekiel 37:1-14, Ezekiel has a vision that takes him on a similar journey from a place of deep despair to a place of incredible hope.

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The Season of Epiphany

By Joy Mosbarger Jan. 8, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

The Christian calendar marks the observance of various feasts and celebrations throughout the year. January 6 is the day on which the Christian church celebrates Epiphany. The Season of Epiphany then extends until the day before Ash Wednesday. Epiphany means manifestation or appearance. It is a time in which the church focuses on the divine presence as manifested in Jesus Christ in New Testament times and the implications of that manifestation for today. The season is an occasion to contemplate the unfolding of the revelation of God’s presence on earth through his son, Jesus Christ. It is a time to watch and wait as the mystery and glory of the presence of God in our midst is unveiled. What will it look like for God to walk among us? How will Jesus manifest God to the watching world?

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The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

By Joy Mosbarger Nov. 21, 2013 10:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Old Testament, Spiritual Formation

For the past several years I have had an autoimmune disease called ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia) in which the immune system targets the platelets resulting in a low blood platelet count, which can cause spontaneous bruising or bleeding. Earlier this year, my platelet count took a significant jump. Though not in the normal range, it was higher than it had been in over five years. I was very excited and immensely grateful to the Lord and to those who had been praying faithfully for me and my platelets for years. Somehow, verbally expressing my gratitude seemed inadequate and insufficient. What, I wondered, would be an appropriate response? This question prompted me to look at the sacrifice of thanksgiving as outlined in the Old Testament.   

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True Communion

By Joy Mosbarger Aug. 7, 2013 4:24 p.m. New Testament, Spiritual Formation

Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ words at the Last Supper—or at least with some of those words.  When we celebrate communion together, we regularly hear “this is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me” and “this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”  Recently, however, I read through Luke 22, which includes the Last Supper and the events surrounding it.  In addition to these familiar words from the Last Supper, I was struck by some of the other words spoken by Jesus on this momentous occasion.

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Why, God?

By Joy Mosbarger Apr. 29, 2013 3:20 p.m. Old Testament, Spiritual Formation

A family outing goes horribly wrong when a bomb goes off nearby leaving the son dead, the mother with a brain injury, the daughter with a missing limb, and the father to cope with this devastation to his family.  A woman who has faithfully paid her health insurance premiums for years is faced with a serious illness, but the insurance company refuses to pay her medical costs due to a purported preexisting condition claimed to have been discovered in a brief notation by a doctor on her medical records years ago.  A young college student, peacefully sleeping just moments ago, finds himself in the midst of a home invasion robbery during which he is shot and killed by the robber who was recently released from prison due to overcrowding.  Why, God?  How can you sit by and let these things happen?  It isn’t right . . . it isn’t fair . . . it isn’t just.

 

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Lessons from the Fog

By Joy Mosbarger Mar. 26, 2013 5:38 p.m. New Testament, Spiritual Formation

A few weeks ago I had an early morning meeting that required me to get up and leave home way before it was light.  As I walked out my front door, I noticed for the first time that, not only was the world still shrouded in darkness, but it was also shrouded in fog. This immediately brought back strong memories of the years I lived in California’s Central Valley where heavy fog at certain times of the year was commonplace.  And most of those memories were not pleasant.A few weeks ago I had an early morning meeting that required me to get up and leave home way before it was light.  As I walked out my front door, I noticed for the first time that, not only was the world still shrouded in darkness, but it was also shrouded in fog. This immediately brought back strong memories of the years I lived in California’s Central Valley where heavy fog at certain times of the year was commonplace.  And most of those memories were not pleasant.

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Halloween Meditation

By Joy Mosbarger Oct. 22, 2012 1:11 p.m. Culture, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays.  Somehow I seem to be lacking the creativity gene necessary to enjoy thinking up and assembling an ingenious costume.  For me that process is not enjoyable; it is a laborious chore.

It wasn’t always that way.  Of course, as a young child, we don’t have much of a choice about whether we dress up for Halloween or what we wear.  Our parents make those choices, and their primary criterion for a costume seems to be cuteness.  And how hard is it to make a little child look cute?

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