In chapter 5 of Acts we hear how they
"laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison."
On the surface this seems disconnected from our life. No one is going to come and lock us up for being Christian. But there is another level on which it is very much a part of our culture.
From the beginning of history human beings have sought to categorized not just things but people. We have an uncanny ability to recognize and distinguish "us" from "them." We love to label: race, language, nationality, and in our modern age psychology - from the most benign Personality Type categories to the ever popular ADD, ADHD, OCD, and the current flavor of the month: Autism Spectrum/ Aspergers.
This is not to say that all of the above and more are not valid and useful for helping people understand their particular challenges. The danger is that this becomes the modern jail. We label human beings and then in-prison them in the label, and it is a life sentence.
We forget that at the heart of our Christian understanding of the human person is our belief in the transforming power of God's grace. We forget that one of the things that separate the human being from the rest of creation is our free will, our ability to choose. Living the Christian life means always striving each day to be more, to be more fully conformed to Christ.
As Christians we are called to be angels not jailers.We should always be seeking to set people free, not lock them up in our limited understanding of who they are. As Jesus proclaimed to the crowd "Untie him and let him go!"
We must be the people who never lose hope. No matter how long or difficult the struggle, no matter how many times we fall along the road.