John the Baptist finds an abrupt change from being alone in the desert, to being alone in a dungeon. The first time all by himself was by his own choice—to come to know the voice of God speaking from the silence of the desert so that he could proclaim that voice to the world waiting for Jesus.
But the dungeon is not his choice, but rather the wicked King Herod’s decision. John is an inspiration to countless numbers of persons in prison and tortured just because they believe in Christ, or who disagree with the government where they are being held. The comfort for John and for all these others–and to ourselves–is to know that Christ has come and not only fulfilled the promises of Isaiah that Matthew mentioned in today’s reading, but that Jesus is still freeing all of us for all kinds of prisons…including the prison of our own selfishness. Do we believe that Jesus can really do that?
On Sundays we follow the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation by choice, other times by chance, but God is with us regardless. Let us pray for prisoners and perhaps bring them a word of hope and a sign of God’s love.