Christmas Day in Prison


December 19, 2012 by lcuprisonministry

Christmas Day in Prison
*Please click on the link above and read the article first! Honestly, it brought tears to my eyes. I sincerely hope you take something away from it.

Usually, I don’t believe any of us think of prison on December 25th. I was in middle school when my cousin was arrested. I remember being told about the crime. I remember remnants I picked up of the trial. I remember the harsh words in the media. More than anything, however, I remember my family’s first holiday without her. Less than a week before Christmas, my cousin was taken in early for her nearly three year sentence. She didn’t get to spend Christmas with her four month old daughter. During the holidays that followed, it wasn’t necessarily always discussed, but I felt her absence. Her absence weighed in my mind. But it was surely all the more devastating for her.

I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to look across the table at her on Christmas next week. That dark period in her life is behind her, and she is at home celebrating the holidays with her family where she belongs. My heartache for my cousin returned to me as I read this article about “Christmas Day in Prison.” We have such an opportunity to step into inmates shoes here and survey and dig for the best way to partner with and minister to them during this season when they are the most lonely, and possibly the most open to listen to what Christ has for them. Please take a few minutes to comment on the questions below, as well as add to others’ comments. Let’s talk this out.

First, think about you. What are some traditions you have for the Christmas season, or even specifically Christmas Day?
Next, think outside of you. What are some of the aspects of Christmas WE get to experience that the inmates may be missing out on while incarcerated?
And finally, think beyond now. This time next year, what are some things the prison ministry could do to minister and be Christ to the inmates during the holiday season when they feel most alone?

Merry Christmas to all of you. We truly appreciate you, your dedication, and your hearts. Celebrate Christ with your loved ones this next week.


3 thoughts on “Christmas Day in Prison

  1. Kyle says:

    1) For my family, there aren’t as many Christmas traditions as there are the normal things that just happen every time our family is together for a feast. These are things like giving my brother hassle for putting more whipped cream on his pie than there is actual pie, trying to keep my grandma from making 13 more trips into the kitchen to try and get us more food, and of course the big nap after we all stuff our faces! good times…. good times indeed 🙂

    2) One of the things that sticks out in my mind is something the article mentioned, being able to share Christmas with those who genuinely want you to be there and will miss you otherwise. I think many in the prison often find shallow, self-interested relationships.

    3) As we discussed this question in our meeting, my mind started rolling of the potential. Truthfully, I got excited to think about you all brainstorming with ideas for the future direction of this ministry! I like the point that Kait made, this Christmas season is “when they are the most lonely, and possibly the most open to listen to what Christ has for them.” One idea I had was for us to join another volunteer group that does prison ministry for a worship service or Bible Study. If we could, we would be able to worship with the inmates and usher in the Christmas season with them. Maybe even get a little extra time chat with them afterwards, build the relationship, and talk about Christmas and what it truly means.

  2. Brittney Belansky says:

    1.) My family has a lot of traditions that we do this time of the year. One of my favorite traditions is that when everyone is officially on Christmas break we get out a new 100,000 piece puzzle and spend days working on it till we complete it. Sometimes my mom has to tell us to take a break from the puzzle or else we would spend longer than 6 hours looking at it. My other favorite tradition is when the whole church come together for our Christmas service and to close it out we all take a candle, light it, turn off all the lights in the church and sign silent night while in a huge circle in the sanctuary. I love holiday traditions!
    2.) Again like Kyle stated the biggest thing I believe they miss out on is being able to spend Christmas with their loved ones. Another thing that they miss is being able to wake up Christmas morning and lay around in their pajamas and watch the faces of children light up as they open their Christmas gifts. How special of a moment is that and they don’t get to share in that time with them.
    3.) I really wish we could have looked at this one sooner so that we could of done something for them this year but thinking towards next year and how we can make a difference I got to thinking that maybe as a team we could pick a child or two from the angel tree and help make their Christmas a little more special from their parents. Before we go on break next year we could also have a time carved out for the team to meet just to pray for these families for the holiday season.

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