Our friend Matthew Harper reflects on a recent thirty-day stint in solitary confinement.
Grace and Peace to you all.
Sorry I’ve been incommunicado, I spent the last thirty days in segregation. Someone had been urging our band to do the Humble Pie song “Thirty Days in the Hole,” but we put it off. I guess I should have played the song. Instead I did the thirty days.
1 Peter 1:3-9
What is your message?
This should be the time of year that we should reflect and reevaluate our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We have just finished celebrating the event that our faith hinges on: the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. I see and hear preachers push prosperity-heavy ministries and say that if one is not living a prosperous lifestyle, then you’re not worshiping the Creator the right way. I’m sorry, that’s a bunch of bologna folks. Continue reading
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Scripture affirms to us that Jesus sympathizes with our weakness. He himself felt weakness while on earth to pay the ultimate penalty for the sins of the whole world past, present and future. He was sinless and at the time the only one who had brought back anyone from death. Now He was faced with doing the Father’s will and dying. I met a man who claimed he was locked up wrongly for a crime. Out of curiosity I asked if he had ever done that same crime any other time and not been caught. He actually bragged he had. The fact that Jesus committed no sin really sunk in my mind after that revelation.
by Terrance “Lil Bear” Plummer
This is the instructional video that God gave to Moses and Aaron to give to those He calls His own (the congregation of Israel). These are the things that needed to be done to gain their freedom. As with Israel, God is often giving us instructions for our lives, things to be done, to set us free from the thing or persons that have us enslaved. When God hears our cry, we must be ready to move out to the places God wants to take us. Continue reading
by Matthew B. Harper
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.
Jens Soering, a German citizen currently serving two life sentences in Virginia, is the author of numerous articles and books in both English and German. His English books include The Convict Christ: What the Gospel Says about Criminal Justice, Church of the Second Chance: A Faith-Based Approach to Prison Reform; and The Way of the Prisoner: Breaking the Chains of Self through Centering Prayer and Practice. His latest book is his account of the events that led to his imprisonment. You can find more information on all of his books at http://jenssoering.com/publications.
Jesus was and still is the greatest teacher that walked this earth. So much so, that one of the highly recognized scholars of Jerusalem acknowledged it. Continue reading
Prison Lectionary will not offer new Lenten devotions as we did last year. However, we recommend that our readers check out the Lenten devotional entitled “Show and Tell” available free-of-charge from Prison Congregations of America. You can open and download the booklet directly HERE.