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Communion 2010

I'll Sue!

Originally scheduled for October 3

It happens frequently: a man is outraged by what is done to him. He screams in reply, “I’ll sue!”

Then reality sets in. He hires an attorney. If the attorney is a good one, he informs his new client of the realities of the justice system. First, this is going to cost money – lots of money. Second, it’s going to take a long time to work its way through the system. Third, the result very may well be another outrage.

Usually, the man with the lawsuit continues. Usually, the lawyer is right about money, time and results.

It’s the same thing with the criminal justice system. Who among us has not been outraged by some insane decision? When the obviously guilty are acquitted we want someone to fix the system. Indeed, it’s even worse when the mercy of the state, the parole board, releases some monster upon the public.

How much better it would be if we could take our lawsuit in front of God! Here’s how Job put it:

Job 23:3-7 NIV If only I knew where to find him;

if only I could go to his dwelling! (4) I would state my case before him

and fill my mouth with arguments. (5) I would find out what he would answer me,

and consider what he would say. (6) Would he oppose me with great power?

No, he would not press charges against me. (7) There an upright man could present his case before him,

and I would be delivered forever from my judge.

Whatever man does is flawed. How much better it would be to seek justice from the righteous God! His hands are clean; he is utterly fair; and the verdict would be swift. His justice is greatly superior to ours.

But even as his justice is greater than ours, so is his mercy. When we release a convict he is stigmatized. It’s hard for him to find a job; his family and friends may pretend he doesn’t exist. He is second class, out of favor, and still being punished.

How much more is God’s mercy! We release a convict; he welcomes the prodigal son home. We insist that the convict continue to pay for his crimes; our God pays for our sins at the Cross. The difference is enormous. As God told Isaiah,

Isaiah 55:9 NIV "As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The difference is also something we remember; we celebrate. The mercy granted at the Cross is shown in the cup and the bread, symbols of Christ’s body and blood. As you partake, consider how low is the justice of man – and how high is the mercy of God.

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