April 23, 2006

Remember Those in Prison (1)

Hebrews 13:1-8

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners ... Hebrews 13:3


When my daughters were young, they had a hobby. They would cut out photographs of things they did with their friends, place them in an album, and then write captions and add decorations to the pages. Sometimes they also enjoyed looking through their "memories" and recalling their moments together.

That's probably the most common way we think of remembering. We recall an event, ponder it for a moment, and then put it back on the shelf.

But is that what the Bible means when it says, "Remember those in prison ..."? Are we simply to think about them for a while, maybe say a prayer for them, and then forget about them again?

Biblical, or covenantal, remembering is different. In Exodus 2:24 we read that while God's people were slaves in Egypt, God "remembered" his covenant with his people. Now, that doesn't mean God had forgotten them and then suddenly remembered they were in great need. Though we may not always understand God's ways, we can be sure that God is always watching over us. Covenantal remembering means calling to mind in order to act on people's behalf. And as we know, God acted to deliver his people from slavery (Exodus 12).

God calls the church to remember people in prison--that is, to bring them to mind and come to their aid.

Lord, today we remember the millions of people worldwide behind bars. We pray for them and ask that your church will come to their aid as only your church can do. Amen.

About the author — H. David Schuringa

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