Go and Tell

Scripture selection: Luke 7:21

At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

We can hardly blame him for being discouraged.  John, who had so bravely and faithfully answered his calling to “prepare the way” for the Lord, who had shown the way of salvation to the lost and while boldly speaking truth to power – this messenger of God – was now imprisoned himself.  Soon his voice would be silenced.  Ironically, his message would live on well beyond to speak for generations to come.

Still, in those difficult times, in that dark, prison cell, awaiting almost certain death, John asked the question so many have asked of Jesus: “Are you the one, or should we wait for another?”

We might paraphrase it this way: “Are you the one, or have I wasted my life for nothing?”

And Jesus words of reassurance must have been soothing comfort:

“Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard…”

In other words, “tell him what you yourself have witnessed: I bring sight, healing – I even raise the dead!”

Two thousand years later, we are called to do the same.

There are still many who doubt, who wonder, who worry.  We can bring them that same word of hope and possibility.

We can share, in whatever way suits our own personality, the truth that can change lives.  We can bear witness that Christ still brings healing, still brings sight, and still brings new life where there was only death.

Don’t let that opportunity slip away.

You may be the one to make a critically important difference in someone’s life – someone “imprisoned” and in need of reassurance.

Go and tell.

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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