No Night

Key Text: Revelation 21:22-25

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

One of the most intriguing and beautiful aspects of the revelation given to John in the New Testament is this one proclaiming that the “city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor to it.”

In a world full of darkness – that is a glorious revelation indeed.

I think of how at the international level, nation after nation seem to be caught up in such darkness of conflict and turmoil; death and disease; warfare and struggle.

I think of how at the national level, we seem to struggle at times for light and direction, while politicians play their “dirty tricks” to get elected at all costs.

I think of how at the personal level, our daily struggle with darkness can be so difficult: confusion, illness, loss, all taking its toll on us and our loved ones.

Then, I picture the kingdom – the eternal reign – of God where such darkness has no place. It is a wonderful, hopeful image to ponder.

When and how will it happen? Only God knows.

Still, we can face the darkness of this world a little more boldly, a little more bravely, knowing that one day – one glorious day – it will be gone and all there will be, forever, is the brilliant light of God.

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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