Week 31: Children of the Light

Week 31: Children of the Light

Today’s Text: First Thessalonians 4-5

Key Text: First Thessalonians 5:4

“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”

When I read this passage I have to admit that a part of me thinks it sounds like it could come out of a manual for some New Age cult. It’s the whole “children of light” thing.

It invokes images of happy, hippie type people, congregating in the park or airport, handing out flowers and talking about peace on earth. “Hey Man, join us, we’re children of the light!”

O.K. – I know – I have just reminded you that I am of a certain age and cultural time period. Yes, I graduated back in the Seventies – guilty as charged.

All kidding aside, what does it mean to be children of the light and children of the day?

It has to do with deep spiritual realities that are anything but funny.

Again, maybe it’s my age, or life experience, but it increasingly seems to me that there are dark forces at work in the world which we must face with strong faith and a dedicated prayer life. Christian parents are increasingly faced with influences that are anything but positive for their family life. Media – well, don’t even get me started on that.

Though the author of First Thessalonians lived many years ago, and was writing about the coming “Day of the Lord” – and how to prepare for it – these writings ring true to my ears and heart for our everyday life now.

Light and darkness – spiritually speaking – are important concepts.

We must be ever vigilant, “sober” is one word the author uses, to be sure that we live in the light of God’s love – and that we are instruments of light and love and grace – not darkness and all that goes with it.

It really doesn’t have much to do with what is known as the “New Age” after all. Or – does it?

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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