Each year at this time, Christians are reminded of something very important. Even if our praises fade away – Creation itself will keep the song of praise going.
Jesus reminded us of this when, during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem two thousand years ago, he told his critics that even if they were silenced the very stones would cry out. They preferred these pesky Christ followers be a little quieter about their faith – just mind their own business. Jesus was quite clear that even if they were persuaded to “hush” – Creation would pick up the chorus of praise.
These days it can be unpopular to share one’s faith. We sometimes fear we might be pigeonholed into one belief system or another, or be somehow labeled, or be misunderstood, or be ridiculed.
But I think it is important – perhaps more important than ever – that Christ followers lift up their voices loud and strong – not to shout other voices down – but to simply lift up our unique song of praise and devotion.
In America right now, it seems to me that there are too many raising their voices in anger, judgement, hatred, disagreement, and disapproval.
How about if instead we simply lift our voices in loving praise and clear devotion to the life Christ calls us to live in His name? How about if we find the courage to lift up our voices calling others to love instead of hate?
Who knows, we may even hear the stones beneath our feet join in the chorus and say “Amen.”
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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