God wants to transform how we see this time of social isolation. Beyond all the discussions currently taking place, a deeper truth is waiting to be discovered.
Paul wrote some of his most impacting epistles from prison – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. We call these the Prison Epistles. The depth of their revelation confirms for us that our calling is never hindered by our physical circumstance, no matter how dungeon-like it might appear. Paul described himself as a “prisoner of Christ.” No chains or cell bars could ever imprison the revelation and love Paul experienced from God.
One of the prisons Paul spent time in was the Mamertine Prison in Rome. Mamertine was a horrible, dark place. Prisoners went there to await execution. Mamertine would eventually close, sometime in the Middle Ages. Since that time, two churches were built and now rest upon the ruins of the original prison.
There is something powerful and life-transforming, knowing we are a prisoner of Christ and not our circumstance. That knowledge has the power to transform our place of natural imprisonment into a place of worship and revelation. Perhaps that is what will happen in this time of social isolation if we choose to see the deeper truth God wants to reveal in our place of discomfort.