Week 20 Friday

Deaf Ears

Today’s scripture selection: Jeremiah 37-41

Key verses: Jeremiah 37:1-2


     If there was one thing the prophet Jeremiah deeply understood it was what it’s like to have your message fall on “deaf” ears.

     The short passage at the beginning of chapter 37 of Jeremiah’s historical record says it all:

     “Zedekiah son of Josiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon….Neither he nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention to the words the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.”

     Those few sentences make it clear:

     Jeremiah spoke for the Lord; and no one could care less.

     Maybe you can identify with this lonely prophet of God.

     Surely there are times when you know you are right; that you are saying the right thing; offering the right solution to a vexing problem – and you just can’t get your words heard.  It’s frustrating to say the least.

     But, in those times, it’s important to remember something.

     Even if our words fall on deaf ears – they are not without worth.  It’s enough that we said them.

     This goes, not just for words of “prophecy”, but for all the more ordinary, but still important words, we can offer in God’s name:

  • Words of grace and hope
  • Words of forgiveness
  • Words of wise counsel
  • Words of understanding and love

People may or may not listen.  They may be too busy or too angry or too hurt or too confused.  Who knows?

But – it’s still important we speak the words of grace, however we package them.

Whether or not, at the moment, they can be received.


Prayer: Lord, when the time is right, help me to speak words of truth and grace in your name.  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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