Sunday, December 1, 2013

Think of prisoners when lighting the HOPE candle

I love the season of Advent...a time of expectation and anticipation. Dennis Bratcher, of the Christian Resources Institute, in explaining the meaning of this season, said: There is a yearning for deliverance from the evils of the world, first expressed by Israelite slaves in Egypt as they cried out from their bitter oppression. It is the cry of those who have experienced the tyranny of injustice...

And that made me think of Advent, 2013, where we still have hundreds of thousands of people behind bars, who right now cry out from their bitter oppression. Many are experiencing the tyranny of injustice. Some have been wrongly convicted, many have been over-charged and/or over-sentenced. Many are experiencing cruel treatment. Many are suffering the torture of solitary confinement. These aren't just empty words of speculation...these are words of truth right from the office of HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS.

At the beginning of each week of Advent, many Christians light a candle on the Advent Wreath. And today's the day for the first candle: the candle of Hope.

The words of Dennis Bratcher again: It is that hope, however faint at times, and that God, however distant he sometimes seems, which brings to the world the anticipation of a king who will rule with truth and justice...It is that hope that once anticipated, and now anticipates anew, the reign of an Anointed One, a Messiah, who will bring peace and justice and righteousness to the world...

It seems to me that, on this first Sunday of Advent, until his second coming, it's up to those of us who follow this Messiah, to do everything we can to kindle and enhance that hope among the incarcerated. They must get the message that we care. They must be able to hear our cries for truth and justice. They must witness first-hand our expressions of love and peace...in deeds, not just words.

It's wonderful to anticipate the arrival of him who will finally bring peace and justice and righteousness to our society. But until then, the burden is on those of us who bear his title.

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