Week 16 Saturday

Raised Imperishable

Today’s scripture selection: First Corinthians 15-16

Key verse: First Corinthians 15:42

     The apostle Paul isn’t known for his brevity.  Like a lot of lawyers (and Paul had been trained in matters of spiritual and moral law) – he could be “wordy”.

     But there were some times when he cut right to the heart of the matter.  His first letter to the Corinthians is one example of that.

     In speaking about the Christian’s belief in the resurrection of the dead, through Christ, he said it well.  If Christ had not been raised – as they claimed – they were to be pitied most of all men.  Why?  Because they had not only believed in some foolish thing, they were willing to face persecution and death for that “foolish” idea.

     But, Paul said, Christ had been raised.  He was willing to stake his own life on it.  In fact, that’s exactly what he did.

     And what’s more, he went on to reassure them that they didn’t need to understand all the mysteries of how resurrection happens in order to believe in it.

     It’s just like sown seed.  There’s a simple enough idea – something any gardener or farmer could readily understand.

     The body is sown “perishable” – but it is raised “imperishable”.

     Simple as that.

     We don’t exactly know how it happens.  But we know it does – we have faith it does – we stake our life on it.

     People argue about religion a lot.  But Paul wasn’t talking about religion.  He was talking about a hope that has sustained people for thousands of years.

     If it was just a crazy religious idea – it would have died out a long time ago.

     But billions of Christians have proven it isn’t a crazy idea.  Resurrection – life eternal – sown perishable – raised imperishable and eternal.

     It’s what Christianity is all about.  And you can bet your life on it.

 

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you, for the living hope of resurrection in Jesus Christ.  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

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