I was seated in a pew waiting for the worship service to begin when I saw them walk into the sanctuary. They were a family of three made up of the father and his young adult son and daughter. I watched to see where they would sit and then got up from my seat to sit with them.
It was a joy to see this man walk into the service. My heart flooded with memories of our doing ministry together when his children were younger. It was especially precious today because it is Christmas weekend and this man has spent his last nine Christmases in prison.
One of the worship songs we sang had the phrase “in His Presence we are free.” I wondered, as we sang, what it would be like to have been locked up in prison for Christmas. How did it feel to be free this Christmas? What prison may I be in? Have I been released to fully celebrate the freedom I have in Jesus?
Jesus said that he had been sent to set the prisoner free. He so identifies with prisoners that he said when we visit one we are visiting him.
This afternoon there was a message on my cell phone from this man saying he was glad we could worship together this morning. Then he told me that he was well connected with support and that God was so good to him.
What lesson is in his story for me? I want to review the release papers that are mine because of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. I want to be free today.