Week 29 Monday

An Open Door

Today’s scripture selection: Leviticus 16-17

Key verses: Leviticus 16:2

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain….”

In the days of desert wandering – access to God had very specific rules.  Ignore them, and the consequences were serious – even deadly.

Thousands of years later – God has provided a way – full access at any time.  That “Way, Truth, and Life” is Jesus Christ.

It’s one of the most basic tenets of Christian faith – access to God, through faith, by grace.

Yet it is one that we still find hard to trust.

I suppose it’s just part of our nature to be wary.  We are overwhelmed by the idea of pure holiness; something so sacred – when we fall so short of that ideal.

And, there are plenty of examples in scripture of those who suffered because they took this holy relationship too lightly.

Still, I wish more of us could trust that God really means what he says.

He wants us to come to him; he wants us to commune with him; he wants us to feel free to admit all of our faults and all of our failings – honestly.

Only then can we have real dialogue, grounded in love, and full of grace.

The veil has been torn open.  It happened, literally, at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion.  I invite you to read that story again in the New Testament.

Then celebrate the wonderful, grace-filled fact that God doesn’t put anything between you and His grace now.

Come, just as you are, and experience God’s love for you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Holy God, thank you that you have provided a way for me to come into the holiest of places – your presence – unafraid.  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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