Law and Grace

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Earlier this year, I got an envelope in the mail.  These days, when you get physical mail, people get excited about it.  This one though, wasn’t such a good one to receive.  Yes, I know, I should do my civic service as a citizen of this country, but I was being called up to serve on jury.

I called the number on the first day and thought I wouldn’t be called in.  I got called in.

I thought, surely, I’ll be dismissed like last time.  I didn’t get dismissed.

During the jury selection process, I thought they’d send me home.  The attorneys didn’t send me home.

After a week of testimonies, we started deliberations as a jury.  I really wanted to see if we can get it done and go home.  I asked if those that have previous experience on a jury would like to be the foreman.  They selected me to serve as foreman.

After two days of deliberations, we reached a verdict.  Now, the instructions on the form they gave us seemed to indicate that if the defendant was guilty for the more serious offense, than we were to leave the document for the lighter offense blank.  All twelve of us conferred and came to that conclusion.  We let the bailiff know that we were ready for the judge.  We filed out of the deliberation room and back into the court room.

The judge read the charges again and asked the foreman, me, to give the verdict.  But he proceeded to ask about the first count, the lesser of the two charges.  Remember, we left that one blank.  He asked, “Do you have a verdict?”  I stood there like a deer caught in headlights.  We had a verdict for the other charge, but not that one!  Then with a deep frown, the judge asked again, “Do you have a verdict or not?” this time, almost yelling, “It’s a yes or no question!”

I think my heart skipped a beat.  I was sure I was going to be charged with contempt.  I think I barely got an answer out saying something like we have one for the other charge…  He immediately dismissed us and told us to go back into the deliberation room.  We all, myself especially, felt like a school boy being sent to the principal’s office.  Inside, we talked and filled out the documents as he desired.  We came back out and finally, we were able to satisfy the judge.  We were dismissed and he even encouraged us to talk to the attorneys afterwards.  I didn’t want any part of it afterwards.  I headed home.  I was glad it was over.

On Sunday, we’ll be looking at the second half of Galatians chapter 3.  Paul seems to ‘make his case’ for defending the gospel against what the Judaizers were teaching about circumcision and the Law of Moses.  We’ll look at what that meant for the Christians in Galatia and how it relates to us as well.