Tomorrow is Easter Sunday – (just in case you hadn’t heard yet.)
My wife, who grew up in the Episcopalian tradition, likes to tell the story of hearing one of her priests marching into the sanctuary on Easter Sunday morning and proclaiming with a great, booming voice: “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”
Though she is now the wife of a pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tradition – her early religious training – and experiences like that – have stuck with her and remain as positive and powerful influences in her life.
I too have early memories of Easter Sunday mornings. The son of a minister, Easter for me was a mix of church service and Easter baskets filled with candy. It was all about Spring, and new life, and the miracle of Jesus being raised from the dead. It was a happy occasion, and not just because of the chocolate bunny – which, by the way, I still love to eat, beginning with the ears.
No, Easter memories are planted deep in my psyche and my soul and tomorrow, as I have done for many years, I will preach about what and who is at the core of it all, the risen Lord.
It has been a long journey, these last six weeks, from the miracle of the Transfiguration to the miracle of the Resurrection. It is always worth the trip.
So, Happy and Blessed Easter to you and yours.
He is risen, He is risen indeed.
What wonderful, blessed news that is.
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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