Remember those in prison
as if you were their fellow prisoners
and those who are mistreated
as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3)
That is a demanding standard. If twenty or thirty percent of Christians in the US
would live up to that standard the government would respond impressively.
Situations would change not only in Iraq and Guantanamo, but in many prisons
here within the United States – where we lock up a significantly larger
proportion of our population than other industrialized nations do. True, some of our prisoners are treated quite decently, for which we can have an appropriate
pride – but some are not, and God sees.
I was in prison and you visited me. (Jesus, Luke 25:36)
I have . . . been in prison more frequently. (Paul, 2 Cor
Clearly not everyone in prison deserves to be there – since Paul “did
time” and Jesus was arrested and executed as a threat to the government,
perceived as a potential terrorist.
And clearly God cares how we treat even those who do deserve to be there.
God even cares how we think about them (which shows in how we talk about
God is in fact planning (in the not-so-long run) to reverse the situation – to
release those who have suffered unjustly and afflict those who have done evil but never
gotten what they deserve. “This child (Jesus) is destined to cause the
falling and rising of many . . .” (Luke 2:34)