Last week one of my best friends sent me a text saying, “I am on jury duty. Pray for me – another human being’s life is in my hands.”
But, in reality, my friend didn’t just have one life in his hands. The victim, the family and friends of all involved, judges, juries, attorneys and the communities of those involved are watching and waiting to see – will justice be served? Justice as I see it and need it?
Over the last week I have pondered and prayed about the role our faith plays in our legal system.
We make three very clear statements in our Baptismal Covenant:
“Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?”
“Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?”
“Will strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?”
Resisting and repenting, seeking and serving, striving and respecting – these are the hallmarks of our faith. As we reflect on the three cases in our legal system that were at the forefront of our public discourse last week, we are challenged to live into these hallmarks. To hold them in our hearts, and to use them as the lens through which we see these particular cases, but also the deeper issues that these cases exemplify. Issues that impact the daily lives of ourselves and all of those around us.
How do we move beyond discussions of the specific cases, to action around the issues of sexual assault, gun violence and suicide? How do we lean into the hallmarks of our faith to guide us into creating a legal system that honors the dignity of every human being, and that promotes justice and peace for all?