"Into The Light Of The Lord"
August 11, 2009
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
Anna Williams is carrying a burden.
Her son is in jail. More specifically, the man is in the Rappahannock County Regional Jail in Virginia.
Understandably, Anna, who loves her son, is doing all she can to encourage him to mend his ways, to ask for the forgiveness that comes through the Savior, and be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The best way Anna knows of doing this is to send her son pertinent passages taken from the Bible.
It's a practice the authorities have been discouraging. They have derailed Anna's attempts by opening the man's letters and cutting out all her written references to Scripture. Anna's attorney says, "Some of the letters are full of Bible passages, so what her son is getting is absolutely at the end of the letter where she says goodbye, I love you. . . ."
The attorney adds that this is not an isolated situation. Other organizations trying to distribute Bibles to prisoners have also been encountering resistance. Authorities say such materials can be "dangerous."
This got me to wondering: Dangerous? How so?
Maybe if you gave a prisoner one of those great, centuries-old Bibles, the kind with the wooden covers that weigh about 30 pounds, it might be dangerous. A criminal might drop that Bible and if it landed right, break his toe.
Beyond that, I'm at a loss as to how Scripture is dangerous.
The transformation which comes to sinful hearts when they encounter the Savior's sacrifice, when the Holy Spirit gives them faith and forgiveness, is nothing short of a minor miracle.
Indeed, history books are full of sinful souls who have, through God's Holy Word, been moved from darkness to light.
This is just another way of saying the thief on the cross was not the last person to be saved by an encounter with the Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, how sad it is when authorities try to keep those who have lived in the darkness -- in that darkness. May the power of Your transforming Word, the sacrifice of the Christ, touch hearts everywhere, and especially in those places where the world's darkness is the deepest. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries