Today’s Scripture Selection: Colossians 2:17

“These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

In popular culture these days – reality is a big deal.

There’s a focus on reality TV (which, as far as I can tell, is anything but real).  There’s talk about someone or something being “the real thing” or “the real deal.”  And yet, at the same time, there has been a renewed focus on fantasy as well – fairy tales; vampires and ghosts; wizards and witches – you get the idea.

Now, I’ve never been one to make too big a deal about popular fiction or media putting out their latest take on the “dark” side.  I know some worry about this – but I generally think people can realize for themselves the difference between some fantasy version of spiritual warfare and the real thing.  I don’t think little kids dressing up in Halloween costumes or watching a spooky movie now and then is going to do in anyone’s spiritual life.  That is, as long as it is well balanced with a healthy studying of scriptural truth.

Still, I can appreciate that it might be a good idea, now and then, to hear these words from Colossians.

In discussing some of the popular religious practices of the day – and some of the more mystical of the religious festivals – we find a good healthy reminder: “these are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

When it comes to spiritual truth – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – you find it in Christ.

So, if someone you know is struggling to find their way in a world where fantasy and reality are sometimes mixed up – point them to the One who can straighten all that out for them.  He’s the real deal.

Prayer: Lord, surrounded by so many differing versions of reality; give me clarity in following your Way.  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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