After five years, the dreaded notice came in the mail – I was summoned for Jury Duty. You dread it not because you don’t believe in the legal system or don’t want to do your patriotic duty. It’s not even that it’s a really boring day if you luck out and don’t have to go through a trial. You dread it because it can disrupt several days, or even weeks of your life. That disruption is what I fear the most.
Veni, vidi, vici. In the end, I spent the whole day and didn’t get called at all. AND they let us stragglers out early. It went incredibly well that way.
But I did have time to think (and read, and do emails and follow a movie, there was lots of time!). I sat and remembered past trials I’ve gone to. I remembered people talking about how to get off of juries. I remember more than one pastor saying that you just let them know you’re clergy, and you’re out. I remember one person suggesting you just say you think everybody’s guilty, that they should all go to jail – that would get you off!
That made me wonder what kind of juror I would be. Do I think people should just fry? Do I think everybody should get grace? And then (it was a long time there!) I wondered what it would be like if there was a jury in heaven. You see, I think that when we die, we go to a courtroom. There in front is the Judge, God Himself. On the left (and personally I believe this true for every human ever) is the defense attorney, Jesus. And on the right is the prosecutor, the devil. The devil has DVD’s of all the sins any given human being has committed, ready to show eternity on a celestial 3D, HD, Dolby Surround Sound v.777 screen.
Scripture does not support this idea of a jury in heaven. There’s no reason to believe this is true. But still, what if there was a jury of your peers in that court? (I’m tempted to put a couple of exclamation points after the question mark here). What if you were selected to be a juror in THAT court room? I can think of a couple of people that have ticked me off in the past that I would love to volunteer for to serve on a jury for. Impartial? SURE!!! Let’m fry! You may have a coworker you’re thinking of, pastors, maybe a parishioner at an old church? You know, people that have hurt us, insulted us, passed us over, cheated us, whatever.
What kind of juror would you be? I know that I have been forgiven of much. And over and over by an incredibly patient God. I’d like to think I would have the same grace. And as I looked across the incredible cross section of people in that jury pool (not a pool you want to swim in often), I figured that the way to find out what kind of juror I would be is revealed by how I judge people today. How grace-full am I of the people I meet every day, even my family (sometimes we’re harshest on them!)?
There’s no jury duty in heaven. And I’m done with my civic duty. But I hope that I carry the lesson of judging gracefully for a long time.
Hanging out with church people,
"Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" Matthew 18:33