Week 45 Wednesday

Wiped Clean

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 128-130

Key verses: Psalm 130:3-4

“If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.”

We live in a world that likes to keep score.

Think about it.  How many times, each and every day, do you see some article; or watch something on TV; or catch a blip on the internet; or hear someday say something about “who” did “what”?

I don’t mean just a mere reporting of news – I mean the ongoing tally of who is right or wrong and whether something is “fair” or not.

I can remember the feeling…being small and having some sense of “injustice” – justified or not – and wanting to scream “THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

And just look at what a worldwide industry the legal system has become.  Some days it seems like everybody wants to sue somebody for something.  Again, justified or not.

Contrast this with the picture the Psalmist paints of God.

God is, on the one hand, holy and just – and certainly doesn’t turn a blind eye to true right and wrong.

But, somehow, God is also the One who is so gracious and loving that, once sin is acknowledged – there is a way out – a way that keeps no record of wrong.

It’s not that God doesn’t care; keeping no “record” because everything is relative.  No, it’s that God loves so deeply that even though there are real consequences to sin; so there is true redemption and forgiveness when sincerely desired.

It’s about balance – holiness and justice on one side – mercy and forgiveness on the other.

Our world likes to keep score.

Our God prefers to offer mercy.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your justice – and your mercy.  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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