by Candy Arrington @CandyArrington
While some people enjoy jury duty, I’m one who doesn’t. In my mind, a jury summons is synonymous with a week of long waits and lost freedom. I’d been dreading my civic duty for over a month when the day came to report to the courthouse.
I arrived that Monday morning with a thick book, determined to make the most of the inevitable slow wheels of justice that equal extended periods of time when nothing happens. The initial roll call was followed by a lengthy span of—you guessed it—waiting. I plowed through the first few chapters of my book before the clerk of court appeared. She was smiling. I’d never seen a clerk of court look even remotely happy, let alone smile, so what did that mean?
“Thank you for showing up today,” she said, her smile broadening. “Many jurors ignore a jury summons. One of our judges dislikes that so much he sends officers to pick up jurors who don’t show up. You, however, are going to be rewarded for the decision you made to come today. These names you see on the board are those who made a different decision and they will not be rewarded. In fact, they will be thrown back into the jury pool. You, however, are going to experience something unusual. This rarely happens, but the cases on the docket for this session, all of the cases, have been resolved and you are excused for the week. You are free to go.”
A momentary, stunned silence blanketed the room, followed by an eruption of cheers and applause. As we filed out of the building, en masse, crossed the street, and headed toward the parking garage, the woman beside me said, “Right now, we are the happiest people in town!”
Like those who receive a jury summons and make a decision to appear on the appointed day, everyone who hears the gospel has the opportunity to decide if they will accept Christ. When the Holy Spirit beckons, they have a choice to answer the call, or reject it.
The clerk of court said, “You are going to be rewarded for your decision,” and isn’t that the way it is for us spiritually? When we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we have the assurance of an amazing reward—eternity in heaven, but also, help and strength for the challenges we face on earth. Our sins are excused by the blood of Jesus; we are pardoned, so we ought to be the happiest people around. Our enthusiasm should equal, or exceed, excused jurors as we share the news of God’s love, forgiveness, and salvation with those we encounter.
We serve a powerful, loving, merciful, and forgiving God. Rejoice in that knowledge and go and tell others.
There is no other God like you! You forgive sin and pardon the rebellion of those who remain among your people. You do not remain angry forever, but delight in showing loyal love. Micah 7:18 NET
About the author: Candy Arrington has written hundreds of articles and devotionals, often on tough topics. Her books include AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B & H) and When Your Aging Parent Needs Care: Practical Help for This Season of Life (Harvest House). Candy is a native South Carolinian, who gains writing inspiration from historic architecture, vintage photographs, nature, and the application of Biblical principles to everyday life. Learn more about Candy at www.CandyArrington.com, where you can also read her blog, Forward Motion: Moving Beyond What Holds You Back.
Join the conversation: Have you accepted God’s call to accept Jesus?