Key Texts: Psalm 98

 Sing to the Lord a new song,

    for he has done marvelous things;

His right hand and his holy arm

    have worked salvation for him.

 The Lord has made his salvation known

    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.

 He has remembered his love

    and his faithfulness to Israel;

all the ends of the earth have seen

    the salvation of our God.

 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,

    burst into jubilant song with music;

 make music to the Lord with the harp,

    with the harp and the sound of singing,

 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—

    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,

    the world, and all who live in it.

 Let the rivers clap their hands,

    let the mountains sing together for joy;

 let them sing before the Lord,

    for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness

    and the peoples with equity.


It is easy to become discouraged by life’s challenges, tempting to say that “nothing is new under the sun” and that the same old news is bad news.    We can believe evil will prevail.  Modern media, sadly, often adds fuel to this fire – whether intentional or not.

We need renewal – hope – a reason to keep going.

The Psalmist reminds us why there is reason for such hope.

Time and again, despite the harsh realities of the wrong choices humanity has made, the “Lord has made his salvation known…has remembered his love…and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”

There is indeed reason to shout for joy to the Lord, and burst into jubilant song with music.

Despite the pain and hardship, the conflict, the ignorance – there can be much healing, reconciliation, wisdom, hope and grace – you see, we have a choice.  We can choose to be instruments of peace and love, acting in faith, we can celebrate that God’s kingdom will prevail.  It is by design – God’s design.

And, it is marvelous.

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

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: