Today’s Scripture Selection: John 1:5

“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

There’s a whole lot I could say about darkness.  In today’s world there is certainly plenty of it around.  Sometimes I turn off the car radio (and the news report) because I’ve heard enough about it for right then.

There’s much I could write about the nature of spiritual darkness.  Again, there’s plenty of it around as well.  That’s nothing new, of course.  But it is persistent.  And as a pastor I have plenty of opportunity to deal with it.

But, of all that I might say or write about darkness – here’s probably the most significant thing I can say or write:

It’s being overcome.

Whether or not the spiritual forces of darkness understand it or not – they are being beaten – soundly.

A long time ago, the apostle John wrote about it.  So did the apostle Paul; and Peter; and James – and the early church fathers.  So did some wonderful women of the faith.

Darkness just doesn’t “get it.”

Remember that when the news seems particularly disturbing; especially “dark.”

The war has already been one – a long time ago – by a risen Christ – the “light” of the world.

And darkness…

Darkness is still trying to figure out just how that happened.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the triumphal victory of your light and your love.  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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