I was called to jury duty and ended up serving on a one-day trial. I was on call for about five weeks and didn’t think I was going to get to get asked to serve with so many “not needed today” messages on the local court message system.
As one of about 80 potential jurors assembled that day for early instructions about the jury process in Virginia, the judge gave clear and compelling words about the privilege of serving as a potential juror, and his role to guide us. After an hour or so of all us of being asked questions by the prosecutor and defense attorneys, I was selected to serve.
It is a sobering to realize America is one of a few countries that has a “trial by a jury of your peers” system. It is inspiring that judges are in place to ensure that the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia is upheld and followed in judicial proceedings.
I can envision that a judge is in a tough spot at times, creating friends and enemies alike due to how he/she leads the court. They are positioned to facilitate the often slow-moving wheels of justice, according to critics on both sides of the process.
My experience that day was riveting, sobering, encouraging, and exhausting. It was riveting as the judge gave instructions on how the trial system was going to occur and our responsibilities as jurors to ultimately decide the fate of the person on trial. It was sobering because we had to listen to the evidence presented, weigh it, and decide if we as the jury could come to a consensus on innocent or guilty. After much deliberation we found the person guilty of the crime they were arrested for. We then were given instructions on how to select an appropriate punishment. It was encouraging as a citizen to be a part of the legal process in my community. I was amazed at how exhausted I was at the end of the day. I was grateful for the judge’s leadership in the whole endeavor.
Our legal system has its shortcomings at times, but my recent experience reminded me of the value of living in a country governed by law, and a Kingdom governed by the Judge.
Read Romans 2:1-11.
Paul reminded the Roman Christians that God will “give to each person according to what they have done” (verse 6). Do not make the mistake of examining the challenges our American legal system encounters at times and allow those moments to color your thinking about God’s final justice. He is the perfect, righteous, and holy Judge. God will not be distracted by the craftiness of lawyers. He will not move slowly when it comes to give us what we deserve. In fact, His justice will ultimately prevail.
It is not easy to see rich and powerful people get away with crimes they commit, while the poor and/or less elite among us are often denied justice. Paul argued that God will not be mocked – you will reap what you (Galatians 6:7). His justice will be satisfied.
God is not mean or impatient. He is perfect and impartial in His judgments (Romans 2:11). Think theologically. Lead a Spirit-empowered and blameless life so you will not be ashamed to face God one day. Be comforted: His judgments are always fair and right.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz