Week 45 Saturday


Today’s scripture selection: First Peter 1-3

Key verse: First Peter 2:2

I’m not a parent.  So I can’t speak with any authority on how to properly diaper an infant; the fine art of feeding that infant strained vegetables; how to best deal with his or her fussiness or unique little quirks.  I’ve never tried to calm an upset baby by carrying it around the apartment at three in the morning; something I understand my father and mother did more than once.  I don’t even know what the most popular baby shower gift is these days.

But I have watched a lot of parents in action over the years – those brave souls of my various congregations who have answered the call to raise the next “greatest” generation.

I have been impressed with how the moms, especially, can readily pick their own child’s cry out of the cacophony of sound coming from the church nursery.  And I have been especially impressed with how they can tell the difference between a “frustrated” cry; an “angry” cry: and the “I’m in real trouble in here” cry.

And I have been struck by how quickly Mom or Dad can meet the need of their child with the right toy; the right bottle; the right touch or nestling near the breast at just the right time.

No wonder then that Peter uses this illustration when talking about our need as “spiritual” newborns.

He says,

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

The world offers much – some good – a lot of it very bad.

Some things are nourishing; other things are toxic.

So it is important that we learn to crave what God offers – because it is always good and nourishing.

Our tastes may run in many different directions.  But, if we prayerfully seek God’s counsel, we will surely “grow up” into spiritual maturity.

It’s not a jar of strained carrots.  But it’s very, very good for us – just the same.

Prayer: Lord, may I always crave your loving instruction.  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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