Holy Mystery

Holy Mystery

Scripture selection: Numbers 20:12

“But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’”

It is one of the great and bitter ironies recorded in scripture.  After all of his obedience, and all of his faithful following, toward the end of his life Moses made a terrible decision.

That decision cost him the privilege of being able to cross over into the Promised Land with the people.

It seems unfair – even cruel – in a way.

Yet, we must tread softly.  After all, it is God we are judging when we entertain such an opinion.

We are on far firmer ground – far holier ground – when we simply acknowledge how important it is to remember God’s holiness and honor it appropriately.

How easy it can be to get caught up in our own sense of importance or what we think is fair or unfair, right or wrong.

It is at such times that we must humbly bow in adoration as the scripture and hymns have through the ages,

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.”

We are simply not in the position, no matter how we might think otherwise to cry out “foul” to God.

On the other hand, as the Psalms point out, we can honestly express that we do not always understand how God has ordered the universe, and why.

As some have said, “It is a mystery” and – at times – that can be difficult to accept.

The consequences, however, of not accepting it – can be costly indeed.

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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