By Rev. Edward Pinkney (from Feb. 10)
JUSTICE or MERCY? That was the question. Friday will be the big day. This Friday, it is finally going to be resolved. The big debate is going to take place. We are finally going to determine which is more important: Justice or Mercy. Who is right?
It would be very similar to the debate between Malcolm and Martin. Do we believe an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life? We are going to resolve this. The debate will be held on Friday at twelve o’clock. Both parties will provide evidence to support each party’s position.
Martin had been trying to convince Malcolm for years that, if you continue to believe an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life, you will have blind people, toothless people, and dead people.
As expected, when Friday at Noon came, Justice was present. He was always on time. He believed in order. Everything had a place and everything should be in its place. If you believe in the law, if you do things the way they are supposed to be done, there will never be a need for forgiveness and mercy. These are signs of weakness. When you operate from a standpoint of strength and justice, there is no need for such wimpish activity as mercy.
As per usual, Mercy was late. Justice tried to appeal to the judge that he should win because the agreement was to debate on Friday at Noon. Justice provided his evidence. He cited example after example, court case after court case on how things work better when there is order and logic. The judge ordered that he would give Mercy until 3:00 before making the final decision. Justice was furious! He knew he was right and Mercy was stalling!
Two hours went by and Justice said, “Will you are least realize after two hours have gone by and Mercy has not shown up that she is afraid of what will happen and Mercy has chosen not to appear?” The judge overruled and said, “We will wait until 3:00.”
Finally, at 2:50 p.m., Mercy appeared. While Justice was neatly dressed in a dapper designer suit, Mercy looked like she had been through the ringer! She was tattered and torn. The first thing Justice said to Mercy was, “Where have you been?” Mercy shook her head and said, “You can’t imagine what I have been through. First, I had to walk Moses over the Red Sea as Pharoah was chasing behind him with his army, and they were trying to kill Moses and the Israelites. It was tough for awhile, but I provided a carpet for them and Pharoah’s army drowned.” Justice shook his head and said, “That is no excuse for being late. You should have let the Hebrews die. They probably had done something wrong, anyway, or Pharoah would not have been chasing them.”
At this, Mercy went on, saying, “Your Honor, I apologize for being late, but Daniel got caught in the lion’s den. They wanted him to bow down and acknowledge their god, and Daniel was not going to compromise. I had to step in and put my hand in the lion’s mouth to protect Daniel. Your Honor, it didn’t stop there. When I thought that I was going to make it, unfortunately, the Hebrew boys had the same problem. They, too, were not going to bow down to a foreign god, so they were placed in a fiery furnace. It was hot! The Hebrew boys had no reason for being there, so I had to step in and that it why, unfortunately, I look the way I do.”
Justice was flabbergasted and roared, “They had to have done something wrong or the king would not have placed them in a fiery furnace! People don’t do things just to be doing them.”
The judge overruled and said, “Continue on, Mercy.”
Mercy continued, “I had to break up a fight. There was going to be warfare between this huge giant named Goliath and this little boy named David, who only had some rocks and a slingshot to fight Goliath. Your Honor, you could see that this was not fair; even Justice should understand that.”
Justice replied, “I thought it was fair. David shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Someone else should have fought Goliath.”
Mercy went on, “So I had to step in and give David some extra fire power with his slingshot and his five rocks. Then came the problem with Paul and Silas. They were to be executed at Midnight, but they were innocent. They had done nothing wrong except praise His name. Your Honor, when I was almost to the courtroom today, Mary and Martha called me to tell me their brother Lazarus was dead. They were on my case because they said if I had shown up earlier, Lazarus would not have died! I had to move the rock! I know I smell very bad, and I apologize but that is why I smell this way. Regardless, the good news is Lazarus is alive!
“Then, some Roman soldiers nailed me to the cross, pierced me on the side, and that is why you see blood stains on my clothes. Before I left, I told them, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’”
Justice was irate! He looked at the judge and said, “Are you going to believe this nonsense?!
The Judge looked at Mercy, then look at Justice and answered, “Yes. It is finished.”
Justice stormed out the door in rage. Mercy and the Judge hugged each other, and Mercy calmly said to the Judge, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.”
The blindfolded lady holding the scales of justice do not exist in Berrien County, Michigan.