Gathered Home

Key Text: Psalms 107:1-3

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

   his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—

   those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

those he gathered from the lands,

   from east and west, from north and south.

 

It speaks eloquently of God’s power – and His tenderness.

The idea that the Creator cares enough to gather His created children home, to redeem them and claim them as His children, even after all their rebellion – it is the picture of amazing grace indeed.

What one of us cannot identify with the idea of being called home, remembered, forgiven, rescued when we most needed it?

No wonder the Psalmist says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story…” because it is everyone’s story, at one level or another.

There is no one who can say he or she doesn’t need a redemptive bit of grace now and then.

The fact that this bit of grace comes from the hand of God makes it all the more powerful, all the more sweet.

So answer the challenge when given the opportunity.

Tell your story – your unique story – of how God’s amazing grace has been evident in your life.

Tell your story – your unique story – of how, when you needed it most, he called you home.

If you can’t tell such a story yet, if you still feel you are in need of a call home, a rescue call, know that the God who loves you more than you can imagine is calling you home – right now.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story and let those in need of redemption be reassured – grace is for everyone. There is no one – not one – whom God refuses to love or to whom He refuses to offer the gift.

The only question is – will it be received?

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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