Week 49 Monday


Today’s scripture selection: Deuteronomy 23-25

Key verse: Deuteronomy 24:17-18

“Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there.”

In the book of Deuteronomy, along with all sorts of laws about ritual cleanliness and social order, I love that there is this brief word about memory.

The people are told by God to always remember that they were once slaves in a foreign land, and that it was God who saved them.

They were a redeemed people – a rescued people.

And so, it only follows naturally that they should care for those who are the poor and outcast of their own community.

The rules are simple and direct.  Don’t take a poor widow’s only coat as security for a loan.  Don’t turn your nose up at the outsider – the foreigner – the “new kid” on the block who needs to find some acceptance.  Take care of the orphans among you – literally and figuratively speaking.

It’s a good pattern for us to follow.

Whether or not you have ever been in shackles – you can probably identify with what it means to be in a situation where you are not in control.

Whether or not you have ever been totally dependent on someone else – perhaps some very abusive – for your food or shelter – you can probably empathize with someone who has been.

Whether or not you have been “orphaned” – you can probably understand what it is like to feel small and alone in a large and uncaring world.

So remember, we have all been in bondage of one type or another. 

As you go down the road, and you find a widow; an orphan; a foreigner; along the way – be kind.

Love, as God has loved you.

Prayer: God, make me an instrument of your grace, wherever it might be needed.  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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