Today’s Scripture Selection: Matthew 16:13-15

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’  They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked, ‘Who do you say I am?’”

It has been called the “inescapable” question.

I suppose that for some that is true.  Others may go through life never worrying about it.

I know that for me, it has been so.

The son of Christian parents; the son of a Christian minister; now a minister myself – I ask it often.  “Who is Jesus?”

I ask that not because I haven’t thought about it many times before; or because I doubt my Christian faith.

I ask it because for me, learning about Jesus Christ is an ever unfolding story; even an adventure.

I never assume (or at least I try not to assume) that I know Christ completely.

I try to be open to the quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) nudging of the Spirit as I learn more about Jesus.

And, I enjoy walking with others on our shared life journey – our shared “faith” journey.

Sometimes I am in complete agreement with others about who Jesus is.  Other times, I enjoy a good disagreement, all in the spirit of learning.  Still other times, I find I am angry; indignant at what I believe to be a complete misunderstanding of who Christ is.

But, I always know that whatever I believe, I am still learning – still asking that inevitable question – “Who are you, Lord?”

And, even while experiencing His love and guidance and grace-filled presence, I hope that I continue to ask.

Because in asking – I learn more and more.

Prayer: Lord, teach me; open my heart and mind to what you want me to know about you.  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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