Thursday, March 27, 2008

Way of the Cross-2008: Station Nine

I was fortunate enough to discover the 20th Annual Walk for Justice while I was in Springfield Illinois. The group was inter-denominational. The Stations were landmarks in downtown Springfield that could connect current events to Jesus today. I will review each station one at a time.

Station Nine: Sangamon County Jail

Station Nine: Jesus falls the third time

One out of every one hundred Americans is incarcerated. We‘re number one! The United States has the dubious honor of having more people in jail, per capita, than any other nation I the world.

And how do we treat our prisoners, brothers and sisters each and every one? Is it enough that we take away their freedoms? No, apparently not: depending on where they are jailed, women and men in prison:
Lose their right to worship their faith;
Lose their right to adequate health care;
Lose their right to adequate nutrition;
Lose their right to visit their children;
Lose their right to be treated with dignity and respect;
Lose their right to adequate and sanitary blankets, clothing, and towels; and,
Lose their right to safety.

Can we take two hours each month to investigate the conditions in our local jails and prison, visit someone in jail, correspond with someone in jail, advocate for our sisters and brothers in prison, advocate for alternatives to incarceration, advocate for decriminalization of some of the nonviolent crimes?


Redeemer God, you who shelter fawn and flower, hear the prayers of your people. Help our leaders to seek the common good over profit and power; move jailers to treat all who they serve with respect and equity; bless those who visit prisoners; and rain down your healing compassion to the women. Carry them in your love throughout each day and protest them in the dark of night.


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