Today’s Scripture Selection: First Thessalonians 5:5b

“We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”

I’ve always been struck by the metaphor of light and darkness when it comes to spiritual matters.

I think most of us can identify with the contrasting images and ideas there:

  • The light representing truth, hope, dawning, enlightenment, comfort, heaven, and such.
  • The darkness representing falsehood, despair, the end, confusion, distress, the abyss, and such.

And I find it to be not only a comforting reminder – but a vocational call – to read these words in Thessalonians:

“We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”

We are to be bearers of the light.  We are to be the light of the world.  We are to represent the Light and the Way.

So there is no place for staying stuck in the darkness.  Certainly there is no place for leading someone else into it.

Our world is a mixed bag in many ways.

There is much to celebrate, much to explore that is beautiful and noble and full of light.

There is also much of which to be wary, or at least careful, much that is anything but noble and full of darkness.

It all comes down to discernment, which is best done prayerfully.

So be children of the light.  That is who we are meant to be – in Christ’s name.

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to your light and show me how to share it with others in darkness.  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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