Today’s Scripture Selection: Mark 16:19

(Note to faithful readers: Please excuse the bit of hedging on our alphabetical search through the scriptures.  X is a pesky little letter so I’m afraid we’ll have to settle for using words that have x somewhere in them!)

“So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”

I am all for encouraging intimate, even friendly, conversation with God.  Too often I think people are intimated by the idea of talking to God.  Maybe that’s why I love the play “Fiddler on the Roof”.  The main character seems to have such a comfortable, but still reverential, way of addressing the Almighty.

On the other hand, a little awe is also in order.

Sometimes (I notice it especially in some of the modern praise music) that we refer to Jesus more as our buddy; our next door neighbor; the friend with whom we have morning coffee – than the exalted King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The account of the transfiguration of Christ sets all that on its ear.

We need to remember that our Lord, caring and compassionate as He is, “was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”

Even without wading into the deep theological waters of what that actually means – surely we can agree it is an exalted position – the position above all other positions.

So, along with giving thanks that God listens to our prayers even (or especially) when they are offered in simple conversation…

Now and then, I suggest we kneel in true, humble, adoration.

Prayer: Almighty God, Heavenly Father, and Lord – may I always lift up my praises to you, as I should.  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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