After watching Walk the Line I bought the live recording from Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash. Ever since I first listened to the album I have been mesmerised by it. It is one of those recordings that has it’s own area code. The more I have listened to the album in its entirety, the more I have been learning about ministry.
I don’t know a lot about Cash and his faith, but what happened that day in that prison was ministry. It was evangelism, it was compassion, it was Gospel, it was incarnation, it was the easy yoke, it was Jesus.
Christ came in the flesh, born in a stable to a Hebrew mother and father. He dwelt with the sick, the needy, the lame, the outcasts, and sinners. He was friendly towards them not pious, he healed them and dwelt with them. Christ changed people and loved them. I don’t believe for minute that when he ate with tax collectors and sinners that the whole time he was sitting at the table he was plotting on how he was going to get them saved. I don’t think he was sitting there upset that they were cussing, or seperating himself because of there actions. I believe that Christ was enjoying Himself and enjoying the people he created. I believe he was telling stories about situations that the people he was around could relate to. He met them where they were and sought to help them.
The songs on this album are performed in that same spirit. Johnny comes out blazing a trail of tracks that are meant to uplift and relate to the audience. He does not sing songs that make people look up to him. He sings songs that minister…. What would our lives look like if as Paul said, “we become all things to all men that we might save some”.
The ministry that happened that day didn’t divide, it united a group of men that had no reason to unite. That’s what Jesus does; He takes a group of people and presents grace and truth, nothing more nothing less.