Glory and Peace

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Today’s Scripture Selection: Luke 2:12-13

“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

After all the years of waiting and all the years of speculation, it had finally happened.

The announcements, the journey to Bethlehem, the birth – all took place just according to divine plan.

Those who were a part of it were alternately stunned into silence and jubilant expression of praise.

Perhaps the most poignant description is that of young Mary, “treasuring all these things in her heart.”

It was only the beginning.

Jesus would now grow, mature, experience human life, share who He was and who He was becoming – again, all according to divine plan.

One day, this journey would lead to a cross, then to an empty tomb.

The story continues to unfold today.

There is always more to be said about what has happened and what is happening.

There is always much more to be said about what is yet to be.

Still, one thing is certain, mysterious as all this is.

Glory and peace have come to our earth, and our lives, in a most amazing 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 for “expectant hope.” 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, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. 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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