Food for the Soul: A Series of Lenten Meditations (Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil )

Even here in prison, there is a pecking order. How wrong! When I look at others who are rejected and broken, I see myself; and my heart aches. Yet it rejoices! I see my brokenness that still exists; we are all one in God's eyes.

He wants us all to know and live in love and peace. We all get knocked down and have gotten broken at some point in our life. But it doesn't mean you've been knocked out, so you need to get back up!

Don't quit. It's OK! Because of Christ, God knows us better than we know ourselves. He loves us, broken and down, or not. God puts us back together, and that's how we get to glorify him. He shines through our cracks!

Prayer: Almighty and Eternal God, thank you for creating all things in wonderful beauty and order. Help us now to perceive how still more wonderful is the new creation by which in the fullness of time you redeemed your people through the sacrifice of our Passover, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever, reflecting your grace and love abundantly. AMEN.

Vigil of Easter
Read:1 Corinthians 13:8-13

Basically, I grew up in prison. Coming here at the age of 17, I can honestly say that most of my life has been spent right here in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Coming here at such an early age, I naturally carried in with me many young and immature traits. Getting into mischief for the mere sake of amusement was one of my worst.

All through the years, I sought opportunities to amuse myself, doing whatever it took to get a laugh or get away with things I knew I should not do, One such opportunity was to go to a call-out church group here at the prison. The Episcopal Church had come here to form a monthly get-together. I jumped at the opportunity to go. I could get out of the dormitory, hang with the guys, cut up, and get a laugh. It was a way to kill the boredom.

As each Episcopal service came around, I found myself looking forward to going. My mischievous ways were met with love and understanding by people who were so much like my family and relatives that I found myself unable to cut up and do the things I originally intended to do. My anticipation of going there was no longer to crack a joke or pull a prank. It became my longing to see people who reminded me of where I wanted to be: home.

The group of people came from the outside with the intention of bringing God's love to us. Maybe they weren't sure exactly how — other than by being there for us and sharing the gospel, a smile, a joke, and a hug. My longing to go see these people — family-like individuals who come here to love me — has attracted me in a unique way, which, in turn, exposes me to the gospel — the Word of the Lord!

God took something that Satan put into me and used it to His advantage. What an amazing and powerful God He is. I went down to the service to do wrong and have instead been blessed.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for bringing your love to someone so unlovable. Let me now look at others I find to be unlovable and seek ways to show them your love.

Food for the Soul: A Series of Lenten Meditations

Copyright © 2003
Prison Congregations of America.
Used with permission.

Categories: Lent - Easter - Holy Week