For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5. 1 - 8
Last week there was a headline in my local newspaper that brought a chill to my soul.
It was a quote from a recently incarcerated man. "I kill women and children too," he said. This reflection is not about what he did but about what he said. What has happened in this young 30 year old's life that could infiltrate him with such darkness? Last week he was sentenced to life in prison for gunning down and killing a 19 year old pregnant woman whose baby survived for three months.
And so he sits in a prison cell for the rest of his life. George Prince Jr. is his name, and I would suggest that he will never know that Christ died even for him despite his ungodly behavior...he will never know unless one of us tells him. He will sit in the ungodly world of prison surrounded by more ungodly people.
Jesus did not talk about homosexuality, nor did he talk about memorizing the bible, nor did he say that you have to follow the 10 commandments or you won't go to heaven.
But he was very clear that we must love our neighbor and forgive our enemy, and visiting the prisoner was part of that edict.
Remember the sheep and the goats story?
34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
Matthew 25. 31-46 The Message
So what do we do about the George Prince Jr's who sit in jail cells mired in their ungodly darkness? Friday after I read this article, I knew that I needed to write to George, and so I will.
I will "sheepishly" do the best I can to reach out to this young man whose world is unbearable and remind him that Christ died for him just as he died for me. Will you join me in letting the George Prince Jr's know about the love of Christ?