Thursday, Fouth Week in Lent

by Matthew B. Harper

1 Corinthians 12:20 – As it is, there are many members, yet one body.

I always thought that prison was full of thugs, thieves, rapists, and murderers; and it is. But prison is also full of artists, poets, musicians, teachers, and ministers. God has given everybody a different gift.

But all of us are in prison. We came to prison because we didn’t use the gifts we were given, or we misused them. Ultimately it matters very little what gifts we were given, what matters is how we use them.

All men are here because of misuse, but now many use their gifts properly. Our church is filled with beautiful singing and playing, our G.E.D. classes are taught by inmates as much as staff members, our Bible studies are taught by inmates, our art classes make Christian comic books and flyers, one brother has published poems, I play, I write, I teach. All of us serve each other for the glory of God. As a leader of the community here I work with other brothers to discern the gifts some people have, and we work to help them grow into using them for the glory of God.

Do not allow yourself to covet the gifts of others; do not allow yourself pride or regret over what you have or have not been given. Instead spend your time focusing on using the gifts God has given you for their proper purpose, not for your glory but for His.

That it may please thee to preserve, and provide for, all women in childbirth, young children and orphans, the widowed, and all whose homes are broken or torn by strife, We beseech thee to hear us good Lord” BCP 151

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