Inside Faith with Brother Joseph

I got pulled over today.

That’s “inside” jargon for a random stop-and-search by a Corrections Officer (CO). In prison, privacy is a pipe dream. My person and property can be “shaken down” at any moment. Every phone call is monitored, every letter opened. The CO who pulled me over wanted to scrutinize the contents of my bag: thermal, radio, theology book. He dissected the book page by page dangerous material! “You’re Brother Joseph, right?” he asked with a sneer. “Not good to be known around here.” I swallowed my pride and wished him a nice day as I recovered my belongings and continued on my way. Stay low key, blend in, be anonymous –these are prison’s prescriptions for keeping out of trouble, staying under the radar. But as I walked away, the words of Jesus swept through my heart: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.” (Matthew_5:14-16) I knew these words were meant for me.

As a Gospel Christian, I AM the light of the world, a city on a mountain. I SHOULD stand out. Israel couldn’t stop talking about how Christ lived, the works He performed; his life shined brilliantly. If I don’t live or act differently than other men –if I’m not shining –then I’m snuffed, offering no light to a hurting world.

So thanks for the reminder, Correction Officer. “When your light shines before others, you glorify your heavenly Father.”

KEYWORDS: Prison, Privacy, Theology, Joseph, Jesus, Gospel, Christian, Christ, Israel, Matthew

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