Monday, Second Week in Advent

by Matthew B. Harper

Grace to you and Peace from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come. (Revelation 1:4)

When was the last time that you had a concrete chance to minister the Gospel in your actions? I once had a chance that I will always remember.

At the Fairfax Jail the chaplain came to our bible study with the story of David. He was in jail, probably for a few months, and he was destitute. He didn’t even have any underwear (it had been confiscated for ‘security reasons’) and had no friend to help him out. I called my mother and fiancé, and the next day they went shopping and dropped off some things for David.

A week later, as I was moving cells to another part of the jail, I met a man standing by the elevators with a small sheet wrapped around his few possessions. Even from a distance I could feel the pain and hurt radiating from him. I saw a bible in his hand, and we talked briefly. He was being moved to the Christian pod, (I had been banned from it because of my crime and sentence) and he was testifying to the anonymous blessing he had received in some clothes and underwear. But he was crying as he talked to me, saying that in the whole world he had not a single friend, at least not one that cared that he was in jail. “Well” I told him “you’ve got one now,” and I gave him a hug.

David only stayed in jail for a few months, and he still cried a lot during that time. But he was looked out for by many of the Christians, and left a much stronger man than he had been when he arrived. I did what little I could to help him, and we stayed friends during that time. I heard from him a few times once he got out, and he was doing well. It has been years now, but sometimes I still pray for him.

Every day is an opportunity for ministry. In every time and every place we can show the love of God. Today is your chance.

See that your lamps are burning, replenish them with oil; look now for your salvation, the end of sin and toil. (Hymn 68)

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