The Holy One

The Holy One

Today’s Scripture Selection: Luke 1:35

(With Christmas just a week away, I want to briefly shift our journey through the scriptures to the Gospel of Luke.  Suddenly we are not with the Hebrews wandering in the desert with Moses, but with a young virgin named Mary who is on her own spiritual pilgrimage.  Enter the angel with an amazing announcement.)

“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

The holy one – that’s how we hear the baby Jesus first described.

How did the people of his day see the babe who would soon be born into the world?  It depends on who they were.

To people wandering in darkness…he was the light.

To a crazed and murderous king…he was a threat.

To wise and seeking travelers from the East…he was the fulfillment of prophecy.

To Joseph and Mary…he was a holy mystery.

To the world…he was the savior…even if the world as yet didn’t know it.

Two thousand years later he is still the light, a threat, the fulfillment of prophecy, a holy mystery, and the savior of a lost world.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

So let us begin the journey again – to Bethlehem – with Mary and Joseph and all the rest of a very special cast of characters.

The holy one, the Son of God, is just about to have his very first birthday.

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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