Today’s scripture selection: Ezekiel 25-30
Key verse: Ezekiel 27:31-32
It must have been something to see: Tyre – this powerful city, on the edge of the sea, sending its merchandise out to distant lands, satisfying many nations with its great wealth and exotic wares.
And then, judgment came.
“Your wealth, merchandise and wares, your mariners, sailors and shipwrights, your merchants and all your soldiers, and everyone else on board will sink into the heart of the sea on the day of your shipwreck.”
“As they wail and mourn over you, they will take up a lament concerning you: ‘Who was ever silenced like Tyre, surrounded by the sea?’”
Our lives can become shipwrecked as well.
Trust too much in our own wisdom or power; rely too much on our good looks and wit; put self-interest ahead of everything and everyone else – and disaster is soon to follow.
Whether a great, powerful nation – or an individual who has forgotten the virtue of humility – wrong choices can lead to great mistakes and it all will “sink into the heart of the sea.”
What’s the alternative?
- To remember that God created and controls the seas.
- To remember that we are not the “Master of our own ship” but that God is “Lord and Master.”
- To sail out onto life’s oceans with confidence, hope and faith – not to conquer – but to travel the path God has determined.
Then we need not fear being suddenly silenced, surrounded by harsh seas. We will be sailing them with God at the helm.
Prayer: Lord, I recognize you as the Master of my vessel. Send me where you will. 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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