I know, I know…it seems I say it every year…but it’s true. I can hardly believe that Christmas is almost here.
Once again, I turn on the car radio and hear “Jingle Bell Rock.” Once again, I see the traffic backing up into the highway, snaking it’s way into the mall parking lot. Once again, I am thinking about gifts and mistletoe and checking the TV listings for when “The Charlie Brown Christmas” will be airing. Most of all, I am thinking about the worship services ahead, the lighting of the candles, the music, the sermons, the holy gathering of some very good people at church.
I am thinking about the mystery, the majesty, the quiet silent night, the glorious appearance of the angelic.
Am I ready? No. It seems like only yesterday my congregation and I were talking about the oppressive summer heat.
But that is how it should be.
We should be surprised by the advent of our Lord. We ought to be wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the wonder of it all. Angels should rouse us out of our complacency, our worry, our distraction.
The miraculous should leave us speechless and in wonder every time it breaks into our lives.
So…although I can hardly believe it…ready or not…
“Come, Lord Jesus, come.”
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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