Moving Mountains – Mark 11:23-24

23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

It’s an amazing claim – isn’t it? That we can, just by believing, tell a mountain to throw itself into the sea and it will happen. Sounds ridiculous.

And yet, Jesus said it – unequivocally. He said it, while on his way to his destiny, all the while talking about how though he would soon die – he would live again. Again, sounds ridiculous.

Two thousand years later, billions believe. Many give their lives for their faith in Him. People still claim that He still lives, that he still works miracles in their lives. They don’t think it is ridiculous at all. They know all about moving mountains – mountains of doubt and fear.

As we begin this Lenten season – that is worth remembering and quietly pondering.

I once had a seminary professor who said that the greatest proof of the gospel was that it still existed. With so many, who for so many years, have tried to destroy the wonderful truth it promises – the fact that it still moves mountains – is the greatest proof that it is true. Just as Jesus said it was.

Today, I offer no fancy arguments. I offer no indisputable theories or proofs. I offer only this – I believe. I take it on faith. I believe that mountains can be moved by the grace and power of God.

How about you?

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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