Today’s Scripture Selection: John 9:4

(Note to Faithful Readers: With today’s post we come to our first run through our alphabetical study of the scriptures.  I hope you have enjoyed picking out a few significant words related to the faith – and maybe found a few more of your own.  Tomorrow, it’s back to A again.)

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me.  Night is coming, when no one can work.”

In all the ways that we might describe ourselves; or others might describe us – how doubt “zealous” is a word that comes up too often.

But maybe it should.

In a life of faithful discipleship – a little zealousness has its place.

I like this passage from John that talks about the urgency of doing the work of the kingdom.  I like how Jesus speaks of it in terms of light and darkness.

Our beautiful world can, sadly, also be a dark place.

It is dark

  • When people are struggling with their own inner “demons”
  • When people feel outcast or misunderstood
  • When people don’t know where to turn for help – where to find God
  • When people are overwhelmed; underfed; in need
  • When people need forgiveness and acceptance

In so many ways, these are urgent needs that faithful people should, in God’s name, address – “as long as it is day.”

And that takes a good, healthy, zeal for the faith.

Prayer: Lord, fill my spirit with your Spirit – so that I may zealously serve and love in your name.  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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