Solidarity

Jul 08, 2017

By Rev. Chris Flohr, PCA Board President

A familiar name – Johnny Cash - was a strong supporter of prison ministry.  He performed concerts in prisons such as San Quentin in California to boost morale and did other things to support prisoners and their families as they faced challenges.   

Johnny Cash wrote a song entitled:  Man in Black

In this song Johnny explains why he wears black.  He wore black in solidarity with those who are poor, and beaten down, for prisoners (for those who are serving time justly and those who are serving time unjustly), for the sick, the lonely old, the restless ones and those in mourning, for those thousands upon thousands who have died in shootings, killings, and war and for those “who have never read the words Jesus said”.

Johnny’s song reminds me of words Jesus said on a mountain a long time ago.  His words still have deep meaning today in many places, and among many people.

The words go by a familiar name – the Beatitudes.

Jesus said:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirsty for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

Whether we are in prison justly or not, whether we support prison ministry or families of those incarcerated; whether we wear black or not, being in solidarity with others is a good thing.  It is a Jesus thing and there are blessings built in to the connection the relationship, the support.

As a board member of Prison Congregations of America (PCA) thank you for your support, your interest, your solidarity with this ministry that supports Christian congregations in prison.   PCA does what it does so that women and men can hear and read the words of Jesus and in so doing find that they are in solidarity with all people because they are loved, forgiven and set free through the grace of God no matter who they are or what they have done.



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