Saturday 11 February 2023
one of many.
Bring me out of prison, so that I may give thanks to your name. The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Words of Grace For Today
Of course, you, yes proud, upright, self-righteous you, have never been in prison, so to be set free, and to be free indeed is nothing, right! Not to you.
But let me tell you as one who spent time in prison, put there by lies about a crime that did not even happen, by judges, prosecutors, lawyers, RCMP, and witnesses who all knew they were lying, for it was that blatant, being set free is an experience one does not ever forget. Nor does one forget the time spent as an inmate. Life threatened in various ways at least once a week, by real violent inmates prompted and setup by guards, and by nurses, and by the brass, but protected by real criminals and maybe even a few honest guards … and by God and God’s people. Food and medication that were not tolerated by my system. The noise. The predictable and irregular inspections and demands and new impromptu ‘rules’ and the lack of horizon and photography and intelligent conversation … and the boredom.
The real prison that we find ourselves in does not have brick and mortar walls and evil people attacking us, and uncommitted crimes dumped on innocent scapegoats, and other ‘real’ criminals (guards include) so unpredictable and demanding. The real prison we find each find ourselves in is the one we make out of our own sins. Lies that corner us. Deeds that destroy others (as we intended) but that also haunt and destroy us. Words that we used to try to create a new reality for ourselves, and in denying God’s real creation we step right into the Devil’s playground, where a physical jail would be millions times more preferable!
This is the prison that God has always offered to free us.
This is the prison that the Devil has sent so many ambassadors to, to offer us yet again another way out, which is really another shackle to add to the many that choke the life right out of us.
This is the prison that we try and try and try to free ourselves from, and too often delude ourselves that we have succeeded, only to see the Devil’s playground has expended again around us and our lives and around those we love.
This is the prison that Jesus frees us from. And when Jesus frees us we are free indeed.
So we breathe.
So we dance.
So we take photos.
So we enjoy the horizon.
So we delve into intelligent conversation when it is possible.
So we worship each day to begin the day.
So we sing God’s praise and give thanks for all that keeps us alive, by God’s grace alone, for obviously we do not deserve any of these blessings.
Our task is simply to extend these blessings to as many other people as we possibly can.
That’s life lived richly, abundantly, as God created us to live.
So on this day, what will we do?
What will you do?