Week 32: Family Line

Today’s Text: First Chronicles 1-4

Key Text: First Chronicles 2:1-2

“These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.”

It’s one of those sections of scripture you might be tempted to skip over – this long, long genealogical list.

“So and so begat so and so…” and so on, and so on, and so on.

Don’t jump over it too quickly though.

It reminds us of the importance of family, of history, of tradition.

It tells us, if we dig into the details elsewhere in scripture, of the ups and downs of a people’s life of faith.

It causes us to ponder how the great story of God in relation to the world He created is one that is spelled out in the very real daily lives of real people – some great – some anything but great.

It might even make us wonder a bit – how do I fit into this panorama of lives?

Nations come and nations go, so do families, so do individual lives.

Through it all, though, the living God who created it all watches, and loves, and judges, and guides, and calls us forth to…our unique destiny…our part in the story.

So, don’t skip over the list of names too quickly. Give them at least a passing glance.

After all, your name is hidden there somewhere too – your story – your destiny – your life of faith – however and whenever it unfolds.

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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