Week 34 With All Our Might

Today’s Text: First Chronicles 10-14

Key Text: First Chronicles 13:8

“And David and all Israel were celebrating before God will all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and with trumpets.”

It must have been quite a parade – David and all the people celebrating and worshipping as they transported the Ark of the Covenant. The very presence of God was with them again and they couldn’t help but celebrate.

Two things in this episode of Israel’s history strike me.

First, that being in God’s holy presence was something to be celebrated above all else.

Do we approach God with such jubilant celebration – celebrating Him with all our might – or do we too often take God for granted?

Second, that God’s holy presence is not just something to be celebrated – it is to be respected too. Indeed, there was such power in God’s holy and awesome presence that, as the story goes, a man by the name of Uzza even lost his life that day – simply steadying the Ark as it was about to topple.

While that may seem somehow unfair to poor Uzzah – the point is quite clear – God’s awesome holy power is never to be taken lightly.

Again, do we too often take that power for granted, as if we can switch it on or off, for our own purposes, as we desire?

Such ancient stories may leave us a little puzzled.

But I think the lessons we find there are worth noting regularly.

Our God is a holy and awesome God – not to be trifled with – and certainly always to be reverently, fervently celebrated – with all our might.

That’s why I have a problem with those “God is my co-pilot” bumper stickers, well-meaning as they might be.

God isn’t my co-pilot. He is the one and only, holy God, the Source and Sustainer of all that is, may we never ever take that for granted.

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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