Sunday, July 13, 2014

Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23

Does the divine expression, the word, really work? Does it make a difference in our lives and in the world?

My yearning for the difference-making word drew me to James Crockett’s work in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. James spent eight years in prison for crimes he committed as a gang member. But the word, so he tells it, reached him in prison. James read words of God’s love and sacrifice, and he was overcome with emotion and a sense of clarity. James knew he was to dedicate his life to sharing this love with other hungry and weary souls.

Now free, James devotes his life to “real talk” with young men about reforming from the wayward ways of gang life. He teaches them the word of righteousness, a ministry James calls “C247,” or “Christ 24/7.” James is now known in the neighborhood for walking up to young men on street corners and asking them, “Hey, man, what do you know about the Jesus piece?”

 

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