Lectionary: Epiphany 4B

Sometimes I think that perhaps life is simply safer and easier in prison than out. Life in here can be difficult, painful, and violent, but there is a clarity and honesty to it. The outside world, one I’ve only seen on TV and in glossy magazines for 20 years now, seems to be consumed with acrimony and judgment. Rather than bringing us closer together, new technology is just documenting how we are splitting ourselves into tribes, and casting our anger at others. We are a world in need of a savior.

Sermon: The Longest Night

It takes bravery to seek joy. But let’s be honest, who really wants to be brave? This is my 19th Christmas in prison. I have experienced great joy, but I’ve also had it up to here with bravery. This is a night for humility and vulnerability, for trust and faith. Hope is present; bravery can take a hike.

Easter

Prison, with a sentence of any length, is a death. It is one of those experiences that changes you forever. Even if your sentence is short, whatever comes next will be touched by your time in prison. This death is more profound when you have a longer sentence, as I do. Coming to prison meant that my old life, and the plans and dreams I had, all died. Acknowledging that was a long and painful grieving process. It felt like the end of my world, and in a way it was.

Lectionary: Epiphany 2A

“I have sinned so deeply, and been overwhelmed with despair and grief. I am in prison, and often feel lonely, abandoned, and discarded. This is a deep pit, from which God has indeed lifted me. I have been transformed from the inside out, and put in places to minister and do kingdom work. As a musician it is no metaphor to say God has indeed put a new song in my mouth.”…