Week 38 Sunday

While It Was Still Dark

Today’s scripture selection: John 19-21

Key Verse: John 20:1

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark…”

Every Easter morning, as I prepare for celebrating a sunrise service, I ponder these words again.

They seem to me to be such a powerful summation of the entire gospel message.  It is while it is still dark that we discover

  • God’s deep love for us
  • God’s amazing, redemptive grace
  • God’s forgiving touch
  • God’s abiding, strengthening presence
  • God’s patience with us
  • God’s reassuring healing
  • God’s insistence that we are dear to Him
  • God’s light that leads us home

We don’t experience such things, at least not so powerfully, when things are going well.  We tend to forget about them when we “have it together”.  We don’t think we need God – at least not as much – when all is going according to plan.

But let our plans; our dreams go off track – let the darkness move in and extinguish our puny little flame – and that’s when we need it – when we need Him.

So, maybe now and then, a little darkness is actually a blessing, though at the time it seems like a curse.

Because it is then “while it is still dark” that we realize how precious God’s amazing grace is to us all.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you – that even in the darkness – the light of your love is never extinguished.  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

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s