Rob had jury duty a few weeks ago. It was a major inconvenience with him having been out of town the previous week and him directing the school play.
Rob, convinced by conscience as well as having been admonished by the courts, did not discuss the matter with me or anyone else while it was taking place. But it was a hard case and it was clear that he was disturbed by it. When it was finished and his role as a juror was completed he still did not go into detail but briefly explained what kind of case it was. It was the kind of gross ugliness that, thankfully, falls outside of our normal everyday lives. The kind of gross ugliness that happens somewhere else but not here. Not where I live.
But that kind of ugly does happen in my town. In the city where I live people do horrible things. And horrible things are done in the city where you live. Probably in our own neighborhoods and right down the street from us.
We live in a fallen world.
We live among sinful fallen people.
We are fallen sinful people.
God’s timing and providence are amazing and I marveled at Rob being selected for this particular case after the sermon he preached on the eighth day of Easter.
John 20:21 “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
That was his main point of text. The Great Commission in sixteen simple mind blowing, life changing words.
He granted peace, gifted it, because He knew what we would encounter. The perfect, holy son of God had come and dwelt among us, the dirty sinful and wicked humanity that would demand His death.
Peace be with you.
The Father sent Him to bring light to a dark world.
Healing to a broken people.
Death so that life would come.
As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.
We are to bring light to a dark world.
Healing to a broken people.
Seek the death of our own comfort and naivety so that life, true life found in Him alone, can come.
That means sometimes we have to see the gross ugliness of humanity. Sometimes we have to know about the horrible things people do to themselves and each other.
It’s not enough to be horrified and sickened by the things that go on in our cities and neighborhoods and down the street. Wringing our hands and crying, “Lord Jesus come quickly” sounds great but it doesn’t really accomplish much.
We don’t live the Christian life so we can avoid the worst of the suffering brought about by the worst of the sins. We don’t live the Christian life so that we can avoid hell and go to heaven when we die.
We live this Christian life, if it is to be lived at all, so that we can declare with Him that His Kingdom has come. That there is forgiveness and healing. Restoration and reconciliation are what we have been called to do until He returns.
I recently read this quote on a friend’s facebook page: “We will feel our fallenness until the day we die. But the key is this: you and I keep coming. We keep fighting. Forgiveness is real, and grace is more powerful than anything in this universe.”
Would that we would boldly believe this…live this…in our families and in our communities.