Today’s Scripture Selection: John 1:17

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

So much could be said about grace that I hardly know where to begin.  The first chapter of the Gospel of John seems as good a place as any.

There, in that beautiful and poetic passage that begins, “In the beginning was the Word…,” we find a wonderful summary of God’s work – the pinnacle of which is the work of grace.

And while a nod of recognition goes to Moses and the law, John focuses on the “glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

There it is again – this interesting combination – grace and truth.

Both are important.  Both are key to what God most wants to accomplish in our lives.  Both are at work not just in our individual lives but in the entire unfolding of God’s work in the world.

And, it seems to me, that John is somehow saying that the two – truth and grace – are intimately related.

There is no falsehood in the work of God through Christ.

There are no tricks, no deceit.  There is only clear, clean, honest love incarnate – and peace that “passes all understanding” – or easy explanation.

On the other hand, God’s work is simple in a way.  John said it so well, a little later in his Gospel:

“For God so loved the world that He gave…”

I imagine you can fill in the rest.

So celebrate this wonderful truth and this amazing grace, over and over again.

It’s what God is all about.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the gifts of grace and truth.  May I be the instrument, in your name, of sharing both with my world.  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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