Tag Archives: prison

recognizing the voice of Jesus

Father, This morning, the cries of the hungry are overwhelming. This morning, the cries of the politically and economically exploited are overwhelming. This morning, the cries of those in prison and under torture are overwhelming. This morning, the cries of parents who know that their children are doomed to stunted and warped lives are overwhelming.

Help us, most merciful God, to hear the voice of Your Son in all of these cries. Help us to recognize the cries we hear as calls to faithfulness and deeper discipleship. Grant us the wisdom to respond to all these cries with grace and compassion, and grant us the power of the Holy Spirit to respond to these cries with both justice and mercy. Amen

a “holey” gospel

“For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved. (RESV – Richard E. Stearns Version)”
Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? the Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World     

This contemporary translation of Matthew by Richard Stearns in The Hole in Our Gospel calls us to look at our lifestyles with new eyes.  We take our overly consumptive and wasteful habits for granted, while surrounded by those who are dying for lack of what we mindlessly throw away. Where’s the gospel in that?

The good news for the poor would be that those of us so blessed to have all we need would welcome them just as we proclaim we would welcome the Christ. Hopefully, we would not ignore the King of Kings. Why then do turn a deaf eyes to the cries of “the least of these?”  As Stearns points out, our gospel has become far too holey to be any earthly good.

for this time and this place

There is a convergence today between the Biblical view of Jesus as Liberator, and the cry of oppressed peoples for liberation. For our own day, to “see the world through eyes other than our own” has simply got to mean seeing it through the eyes of the poor and dispossessed. When the story of Jesus and the story of human oppression are put side by side, they fit. They are simply different versions of the same story.

The cry of the hungry is overwhelming. The cry of the politically and economically exploited is overwhelming. The cry of those in prison and under torture is overwhelming. The cry of parents who know that their children are doomed to stunted and warped lives is overwhelming….

There may have been other emphases needed at other points in Christian history when talking about Jesus as Liberator, but I am persuaded that for this time and this place, the claim of Jesus to bring freedom, and the cry of the oppressed peoples for freedom, converge and cannot be separated. – Robert McAfee Brown

What is true freedom? There are many competing definitions. However, whatever definition we choose, we need to remember that freedom means responsibility. Freedom is not just liberation from something, it’s liberation for something.

Jesus as Liberator

 

There is a convergence today between the Biblical view of Jesus as Liberator, and the cry of oppressed peoples for liberation. For our own day, to “see the world through the eyes other than our own” has simply got to mean seeing it through the eyes of the poor and dispossessed. When the story of Jesus and the story of human oppression are put side by side, they fit. They are simply different versions of the same story. The cry of the hungry is overwhelming. The cry of the politically and economically exploited is overwhelming. The cry of those in prison and under torture is overwhelming. The cry of parents who know that their children are doomed to stunted and warped lives is overwhelming. . . . There may have been other emphases needed at other points in Christian history when talking about Jesus as Liberator, but I am persuaded that for this time and this place, the claim of Jesus to bring freedom, and the cry of the oppressed peoples for freedom, converge and cannot be separated.

                                                                                                                                        Robert McAfee Brown