Week 33

Work, Work, Work

Today’s scripture selection: John 5-6

Key Verses: John 5:16-17

It was the Sabbath.  And the law was clear: no work, period.

So, first, they went after the man whom Jesus had healed, because he was no longer an invalid.  Why?  Because he was up walking and carrying the mat on which he had sat paralyzed for thirty-eight years.

Then, they went after Jesus – since he started the whole mess with his own insistence of working on the Sabbath – that is, doing the healing in the first place.

Lawbreakers – everywhere – what was the world coming to?

It seems silly now.  But these religious legalists were dead serious – as they proved when they later set things up to kill Jesus.

But, for now, Jesus simply told them he had to be about the work of his father in heaven.  Why?  Because “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

As much as that must have infuriated the bean-counting, legal eagles of Jesus’ day, isn’t it a comforting thought for you and me?

The idea that day in; day out; night too – God is busy at work.  And, as the Psalmist said so well, He never tires; never sleeps; never slumbers.  His creative, redemptive, healing work just goes on and on.

And that means there are times when we can and should peacefully rest completely from our work.

There is a time for work – and a time for rest.  On that point, we could even agree with the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.

But what we know as well is that it is always the right time for healing, and grace, and resting in God’s watchful care.

So, take a load off, rest for awhile.  God’s at work – now and always.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your omniscient, omnipresent, loving care.  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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