The Final Journey

The Final Journey

Scripture selection: Luke 19:28

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.  As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.  As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

After all the teaching, all the miracles, all the challenges to his authority, all the decisions others made to follow – it all came down to this: a final journey to Jerusalem.

As Lent and Easter approach each year – we come to these scripture texts.  Christians all over the world anticipate the joy of resurrection day but first, there must be the pain of rejection and the death at Golgotha.  It isn’t an easy journey to make – even now.

Still, it is an important one.

In just a couple of weeks – Christian and non-Christian alike will have an opportunity.

It is an opportunity to go deeper in faith, to commit for the first time, or in a new way, to that life of faith.

The stories told, the scriptures read will be all the old familiar ones.

But every year – it is a fresh opportunity – to come to know Jesus in a new, powerful way.

It all comes down to this: a final trip to Jerusalem.

Let the journey begin.

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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