Souls in Prison
Christ was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison. – 1 Peter 3:18-19
“But this city is designed as a cage,” he said. “The tall buildings are like prison bars; where’s the sky?” he asked. In his reverie to the glories of New York City living—amazing music, marquees proclaiming THE BEST with bright lights in the big city for everything from pastrami to proper pizza to walls of elite gallery space—”we have it all,” he argued. Except the sky.
In service to our love for the very best, we run for trains quick to shut the doors in our faces. For our proximity to the employers who might make the best use of our talents and skills, we yield to a redefinition of personal space. We breathe in ambition at the expense of anything close to cleanliness. As we cross the threshold into a future we pray will bring access to growth and—please God—a better future for the ones we love, we step over piles of . . . other things.
Maybe we start to accept the things we really should not, growing accustomed to being so enclosed that we risk forgetting what it means to be free—if we ever knew it. The feeling of grass on our toes. The ability to behold without limit. The chance to gaze without interruption.
Into this prison Christ breathes freedom. Setting souls loose from the captivity we may not even see is the very work of resurrection.
So today, I ask: where are your shackles?
O God, may I see my captivity and know my captors to hold nothing to your salvation.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.