Mary Mortenson, Pamela Deacon-Joyner, Prison Congregations of America (1)
Apr 15, 2017
By Mary Mortenson, Director Prison Congregations of America
“Then they remembered his words.” This is verse 8 of Luke 24. The women who had come to the tomb to minister to a body, were met instead with incredible news, “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee...”
“Then they remembered his words.” Jesus made a promise to his disciples, as he explained that he would die and rise again. Only after it had become reality did they remember the promise. We have the gift of hindsight, and we know the end of the story even as we make the preparations. Yet, I think that sometimes we, too, fail to “remember his words.” Sometimes the words can be obscured by any number of things on the spectrum from material success and influence to the death of a beloved and beautiful friend. In joy and sorrow, we can forget the words, until we are reminded. Personally, that reminding word has come to me through other Christians – in community – in congregation. It is in congregation that we are reminded that we can share our joy, and it is in congregation where we hold tightly to one another when grief and sadness are realities.
Together, we have journeyed to the foot of the cross and this Easter day we join with Christians throughout the world in the greatest celebration of our lives. Some of those Christians will celebrate the liberating grace of the resurrection while they are members of prison congregations. I believe that this congregational model of prison ministry is among the healthiest and most effective available today.
It’s time – Let’s run together from that empty tomb and proclaim, “He is not here; he is risen!”