Posts Tagged freedom in Christ
I’m reposting this reflection from December 2009 when Keri and I visited Alcatraz. -JB
“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” (Luke 4)
We visited the famous maximum security prison at Alcatraz last night. If you’ve never been, here’s the scoop. The prison was active during the 40s, 50s and early 60s before closing due to budget cuts and wear and tear. It was the place where the worst of the worst criminals were sent and housed such famous criminals as Al “Scarface” Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly and others of the American gangstar era.
The tour was filled with stories of the gray, gloomy life behind bars on a cold, foggy, windy island just off the coast of the bustling life of San Francisco. When the wind was blowing in the right direction, the inmates could hear the sounds of the free people laughing and enjoying the lives of freedom just 1.5 miles inland. The sounds of freedom just outside of reach only added to the misery of life behind bars.
The most intriguing part of the tour was hearing the tales of the many brave escape attempts which all ended in failure. The most famous escape attempt was immortalized in the film Escape From Alcatraz (1979) starring Clint Eastwood. One unmistakable fact that comes through during one’s time on Alcatraz is that human beings have a relentless drive for freedom and will do almost anything and risk everything to achieve it. Saints and criminals alike all have an innate hunger for freedom and will stop at nothing in their pursuit of it.
After spending a couple hours on the cold, windy miserable island in the dark and dreary cell house I couldn’t wait to board the boat and be shipped back to the land of the free where we would soon find ourselves back at our lodging place in the company of friends and sipping hot cider by a warm crackling fire. Ah, the gift of freedom is precious.
As we near the celebration of Christmas I am reminded that at the core of the gospel is the gift of an even more profound kind of freedom offered to us all. The Bible reminds us that we are all born into the prison house of sin and death, and live with a constant craving for the freedom God originally intended us to enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »