Restorative Justice Week
Romans 8:1-2 – There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Part of our church's ministry is our involvement in the chapel ministry at William Head Prison. Some of our members go to the chapel services every week, and often more than once a week. I don't often go with them but when I do, I find myself touched by the love, the openness, and the genuineness of most of the people there.
On a recent visit this summer, as I was talking with one of the inmates, he told me that he had made a lot of good decisions in his life, but he had also made some very bad ones, and unfortunately, his bad decisions had wiped out all the good ones. His remarks made an impact on my thinking. On reflection, I realized that all of us can say the same thing. Yes, we have made some good decisions, but all of us have also made decisions which have not been so good.
Fortunately for us and for my friend at William Head, the story doesn't end there. There is a decision each of us is asked to make that will wipe away all our wrong decisions, and that is to open the door to let Christ into our lives. Jesus stands at the door of our lives and says: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)
God has given each of us the gift of life. He says, "I love you. I forgive you. Go now and begin anew." Not only do we get a new beginning today but we don't have to go it alone. God is with us. Praise God!
Prayer: We thank you for your gift of new life today – for your love, for your forgiveness and our salvation. Open our eyes today to the gift of new life. We ask a special blessing on those who are in prison and who have not forgiven themselves for their wrong doing. Help them to find self-forgiveness and also to accept your forgiveness in their lives. Help them to know that they are not alone. And Lord, we lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ who are involved in prison ministry. May they be strengthened, uplifted, and kept safe as they minister in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.