Week 49 Sunday

Two Important Questions

Today’s scripture selection: Acts 21-22

Key Verses: Acts 22:6-11

When the apostle Paul told the story of how he had not only become a follower of Christ but had been called into service in His name – he talked about his “road to Damascus” experience.
It’s the stuff of which movies are made.
Thundering voices from heaven; blinding bright lights; being made helpless so that only a complete physical and spiritual healing would save his life – all this Paul knew about.
He told his listeners:
“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed about me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?’”
“’Who are you, Lord?’” I asked.
“’I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. ‘What I shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.”
“’Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go to Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.”
It strikes me that in coming face to face with the risen Christ; physically blinded by the intensity of His light – Paul asks two very important questions:
“Who are you, Lord?” and
“What shall I do, Lord?”
Ultimately, aren’t those the questions we must ultimately ask of God?
Who is God to us? What does it mean to have a relationship with Him? What does He ask of us? How do we respond to His divine interjection into our lives?
And the answer Paul received is the one God gives to each of us as well.
“Get up, and go….you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.”
It takes courage. It takes faith. It takes trust.
But asking those two most important questions – and responding to God’s answer – is the way to begin a journey that starts in this life and, as some have put it, “blends into the life eternal.”
Prayer: Lord, I want to fully know; and fully follow, as You lead. 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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