Key Text: Mark 16:19-20
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
It’s a staggering idea really – that Jesus of Nazareth, after being killed, then raised from the dead, then ascending to heaven, “sat at the right hand of God.” Equally staggering an idea, that after doing so, he somehow miraculously “worked with them” from heaven and “confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
Do we, 2000 years later, really comprehend and appreciate that the same staggering, miraculous power is available to us for our own work in the kingdom of God?
So often I think we think that we must somehow take what God has said and figure out how to do miraculous work in His name on our own.
Truer to the promise of Scripture, I believe, is the idea that through our prayerful connection with the Divine – the Divine still works with us to “confirm” His word “by the signs” that accompany it.
Perhaps that confirmation will come in a way that is very dramatic – perhaps in much more subtle ways – but I believe it can and will come.
So let us be in prayer:
- Not as some exercise in religious piety alone
- Not as a way to show others how “holy” we are compared to them
- Not as a sort of religious “self-talk” to motivate ourselves to action but as
- The tapping into the very real, and very available spiritual power we have in being followers of the One who “was taken up into heaven” and still sits, even now, at the right hand of God.”
What might we accomplish then?
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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