Scripture selection: Luke 8:17

“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

It was both cryptic and intriguing.

After teaching the people with parables, and even being challenged as to why he did, Jesus said that one day everything would be crystal clear and fully understood.

In the meantime, however, there would be certain things about life in the kingdom of God that would remain a mystery – even offensive – to others.

Maybe that is one reason why certain approaches to the faith developed which seek to find hidden spiritual truths in everything the scriptures have to say.  I think that can be an interesting, but potentially hazardous practice, if done too much.

On the other hand, I can appreciate why Jesus uses things like seed, light, leaven, water, bread, wine to speak of powerful spiritual truths.

In the end, until all is made clear, Jesus encouragement should lead us on: “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.”

Like tidbits of wonderful truth, we are invited to consume them one small bite at a time.

Then one day, one glorious day, we will all sit at the table and feast on all the answers we have been seeking for so very long.

Until then, we must be patient.

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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