Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

Lockdown, photograph by Tobias Mayer, March 2021

Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ...
Philemon 1:1a

The short letter to Philemon was written by Paul during his house imprisonment in Rome, described in the book of Acts.1 Although he was clearly a prisoner of Rome, Paul did not consider himself in that light, describing himself as a prisoner of Jesus Christ. Paul's captivity was not by the enemy, and not against his will. He was imprisoned by love, through choice. The phrase also appears in the letter to the Ephesians,2 and is hinted at elsewhere. From the moment of his vision on the road to Damascus, Paul released his freedom and surrendered himself so completely to his new faith that he could now think of himself only as being bound to Jesus—to the new covenant. Jules Feiffer, on recognising that all our choices in life in some way bind us, observed that "freedom is the right to choose your own prison". Paul chose this. Thus in his imprisonment he is completely free.

1 Acts 28:30-31
2 Ephesians 3:1