Week 16 Monday

Tell Your Children

Today’s scripture selection: Exodus 9-12

Key verse: Exodus 12:26-27


     When God saved the people of Israel from their bondage in Egypt – He instructed them to keep a sacred ceremony – and they have been keeping it ever since.

     It is the celebration of the Passover – and it recalls how God’s punishment “passed over” the people He saved.

     He also told them it was important that for all the years to come, when their children asked them, “What does this ceremony mean?” they were to tell them all about it.

     It’s not enough that we enjoy the Lord’s blessings and protection.  We need to tell others – especially our “children” – what that is all about.

     For me, that is an obligation that extends beyond parental responsibility.  I think all people of faith need to pass on what they know and what they have experienced about that faith.

     Indoctrination has a bad connotation in many people’s minds.  We value the concept of each person – young and old – freely coming to their own decisions about life and faith.

     I value freedom too.  And I can certainly appreciate how easily people can be indoctrinated into beliefs that are wrong or destructive.

     But I also think it isn’t just a responsibility – but a privilege – to teach the generation that follows us just how good God is.

     An awful lot of bad stuff has been done in the name of religion.  And an awful lot of people have grown up learning the wrong things about God.

     But I am an optimistic.  And I believe that the truth will out.  I think we can teach our kids about the God who is loving, and just, and holy.  And that they, in turn – as they experience God’s love – can pass it on.  And so it goes.

     Indoctrination – telling our children what our faith means – I’m all for it – when it’s done right.


Prayer: Lord, help me to explain what my faith means and live it out faithfully – for future generations to come.  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 meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. 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, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. 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

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