Tender Mercy

Tender Mercy

Today’s Scripture Selection: Luke 1:78

“…because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven…”

I love the fact that when Zechariah was inspired to speak of what his son would be able to do with his life, he used some wonderful words to describe what God was doing.

How was he moved to speak of God?

He talked about the “tender mercy” of God and a “rising sun” that would bring light to a people living in darkness and in the “shadow of death.”

What powerful and poignant words.

This is the story that unfolded over two thousand years ago, which is still unfolding this year, as it does during each Christmas season especially.

The malls are filled with anxious shoppers and tired store clerks.

The children are wondering if they are going to get that one special gift they are dying to receive.

The traffic is in a constant snarl of impatient drivers.

The civil and international conflict is raging on as usual.

The politicians are happily going on holiday break.

The theatres are featuring special features and the producers are hoping to make a bundle and in the midst of it all…

The people living in darkness and in the shadow of death are about to have a chance to see the light again.

The tender mercy of our God is about to be revealed again.

Don’t miss it.

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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