Week 10 Sunday

Just the Beginning

Today’s scripture selection: Matthew 26-28

Key verses: Matthew 28:20

 

     Suddenly – it was over.  It seemed to end as quickly and abruptly as it had begun.  All the teaching; all the healing; all the promise and hope ended on a Roman cross of execution.  Evil had triumphed.  Jesus was dead.

     Then – there He was – just as He promised.  Not just a corpse re-animated – but a resurrected Savior.  And, before He was taken to heaven, he spent just a little more time with his closest followers and friends, teaching them and preparing them for what was to come next.

     So – it turns out the ending wasn’t an ending at all.  It was just the beginning.  Jesus’ final words to them said it all:

      “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

     That’s how it can be in our lives too.

What we think are tragic endings turn out to be the beginning of something better.  What we think is an unalterable conclusion is mere transition to new life.  Just when we think we are finished; a failure – God reminds us we are a work in progress – and that He has big plans for us.

     Wherever you are in life’s journey right now, up or down, clear or confused, optimistic or going down for the third count – remember that.

     Our God is the God of creation and life and resurrection.  The Spirit blows when and where God desires.  And from our limited vantage point – well, we simply can’t ever say for sure we know when we are “finished.”

     In fact, it is the message of the Christian faith that life is never “finished,” not if we choose to accept God’s gift of eternal life, in His loving presence.  And, seen from that perspective – there isn’t anything in this life that can defeat us.  It’s not the end.  It’s just the beginning.  God’s just getting started.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Prayer: Eternal God, thank you that by your grace my endings are only your beginnings.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

1 comment

  1. Paul, I am really enjoying your daily devotionals! I have sent the info to Rob and Emily so they can sign up to receive the posts, too. Keep up the good work!
    Frances Atherton

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