2017-05-04 / Church

The Rosy Side

by Pastor Trey Comstock Blue and Lexington United Methodist Church

Barry Lynn, John Gibbs, and I had our pictures on the front page a few months ago because we were going to prison – to do ministry - and were asking for support. Well, we are certainly thankful for all the support that we did receive and truly enjoyed our weekend in the O.L. Luther Unit just south of Navasota. We participated as part of a 30-person team who had the joy of serving 30 participants who live in the unit. We refer to them as our “Brothers in White” because of the white uniforms that inmates wear in Texas prisons.

I’ve been doing prison ministry for a little over ten years now, and I keep going back for one simple reason. Offering God’s love inside a prison sits at the heart of our mission as Christians. In the Great Commission, Jesus offers us a deceptively simple instruction: “Go and make disciples.” The questions left open in that statement is where we should go and to whom we should go. The example of Jesus’s earthly ministry answers that question for us. In Matthew 25, Jesus gives us the parable of separating the sheep from the goats. The sheep became sheep because they were conduits of God’s love into the darkest, easily overlooked, and disconnected corners of the kingdom – the impoverished, the hungry, the imprisoned. I keep going to prison because it brings me such joy to see God’s love at work in a place that society often rejects. Yes, they are in there for a reason, but they are still God’s beloved children.

My most recent experience in the Luther Unit, I got to witness 30 men be given a tangible example of how much God loves them. Our Brothers in White truly became our brothers as God pulled down the barriers that our society puts up and that we put up. God built a bridge that allowed us all – those from inside and those from outside – to see God’s love and God’s kingdom be made manifest inside the wall of a correctional facility. As Paul reminds us in Romans 8:38, truly, nothing can separate us from the love of God.

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