Today’s Scripture Selection: Romans 9:33

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Theologians with multiple advanced degrees and those with little formal education, and just about everybody in between have their opinions about.

Questions like these fill the air:

  • How does this thing called “salvation” come?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Are all religions the same?
  • Does God love everyone?
  • If so, how can there be something called Divine Judgment?
  • Isn’t everybody saved?
  • Who needs “saving” anyway?
  • Was Jesus just a good man or something more?
  • Where is Zion?
  • What’s a stumbling block?

On and on it goes – and I suppose it always will.  Questions are good – when they are asked with a real desire to learn or teach.

But, long before the time of Jesus, during his time, now, and into the future – it has been, is, and will be the same – these questions and others like them cause great division.

So, I like to remind myself what is at the core of it all.

There is a promise: “…the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

There is a simplicity about that statement that comforts me.

Even amidst all the questions over which we too often stumble.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your love that promises me I will never be put to shame as long as I trust in you.  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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