I recently encountered one of the most attentive audiences ever, to one of my messages. I was in prison on a Sunday, speaking from the Letter of James, to a group of attentive men.
James was brave enough to write about what makes people angry enough to kill. I have spoken on this passage in churches before, but never to a group of men who took the message so much to heart. Several prisoners had recently described their sinful actions to me as evidence of an evil within them rather than an evil acting upon them.
James’ advice to see sinful actions as symptoms of a spiritual battle that can be won rather than evidence that we are a lost cause can be truly liberating. It seems to have been on that day, people who normally fidget and talk through church were still and attentive. Handshakes and saying thanks afterwards were warm and genuine.
Chaplaincy to marginalised people is such a privilege and seeing the power of the gospel at work is a blessing.
– Greg Murphy, Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy Coordinator