Acts 16:25-40:The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city.
I read of a an area in Australia where the government pursues something called “justice reinvestment.” It is described as “redirecting some of the money earmarked for building more prisons toward projects that help people stay out of them.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our way of staying out of “prisons,” the confining, fearsome places of temporality. When we focus on material and physical things, we put ourselves at great risk of captivity. We give others--in relationships and in marketing--power to make us unhappy.
But when we can absolutely trust in God, and see our self-worth through God, then we walk out of the prison as Paul and Silas did. The key difference in our liberation and theirs is that no one will apologize to us for putting us in prison, because they are the very ones profiting from our imprisonment.
As Christians, we believe in “love reinvestment,” where we invest our energy and other resources in the loving care of other people. If people know that they are loved, they need not prove themselves worthy. We do it all in the name of God.
We show people the value of staying out of prison in the first place.
Psalm 71; Job 28:1-28; John 12:27-36a
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