Week 28 Wednesday

Not An Option

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 81-83

Key verses: Psalm 82:3-4

They are strong words; and a clear call to action:

  • Defend
  • Uphold
  • Rescue
  • Deliver

Words like this don’t leave much room for debate.

And who are we, as members of the kingdom of God, supposed to defend, uphold, rescue and deliver?  Again – it’s very clear:

  • The weak and the fatherless
  • The poor and the oppressed
  • The weak and needy
  • Those who need deliverance from the hand of the wicked

With such a simple, powerful mandate – how can anyone say that the Church is irrelevant?

Only when the people of God fail to act can the world say that is true.

Does it mean we are to take any and all responsibility for others?  Does it mean we are to support those who won’t take personal responsibility (when they can) to meet their needs or those of their family?

No, I think the scriptures have quite a lot to say about people stepping up to be responsible members of society – when they can.

But when there is illness – physical, mental, or spiritual; when there is addiction; when there are societal structures that press people down beyond their ability to lift themselves up…

Then we don’t have a choice.

We love as we have first been loved.

Anything less… is simply not an option.

Prayer: Lord of grace and peace; make me an instrument of both.  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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