Years ago, I attended a meeting at a church where I was to present my credentials to get approval for ministerial standing. This particular church had a big parking lot. I could see the church meeting hall in the distance. It was dark outside, and the lights on the church building were turned off. I remember that I stumbled my way from my car into the church.
When I arrived, the meeting had begun. I was asked to wait in the church parlor before I would meet with the committee. I then met with the members of the committee. They reviewed my materials. They were cordial to me. I then went back to the church parlor to wait while the members of the committee deliberated. I returned, and was informed that my credentials were accepted and that I would receive ministerial standing.
After the meeting was over, I got ready to leave and when I walked outside the church, the night was even darker and the lights were still off.
Commentators have noted that one of the characteristics that distinguished the Early Church was its hospitality. During the time of first and second century Hellenistic Judaism, the early followers of Jesus supported those who were marginalized, those were over-looked, those who were oppressed including women, orphans, the poor and slaves. The extension of care “caritas “was the mark that set the Early Church apart from the society of its day.
We have just witnessed another Supreme Court nomination process. This one, of course, was raucous and emotional. Now, that the court is complete again in its membership, it continues to get on with judicial decisions. Like others, I wonder if the whole confirmation process is just or for that matter charitable. I wonder if the current Supreme Court justices will leave the light on for each other, let alone for all of us.
One of the main stumbling blocks for the Supreme Court-federal district court- is the whole concept of life-time appointments. Again, I’m struggling with whether a life-time appointment isn’t a temptation for someone to assume mass avarice and power, and no longer consider themselves at all to be held accountable.
Even a President Of The United States cannot serve more than two terms.
Steve Earle ruefully observed:
“ The Republicans drank their whiskey neat
And thanked their lucky stars;
He cannot serve another term,
They’ll be no more FDRS. “
Maybe, it’s time to advocate a term limit for those who sit on the Supreme Court, the Federal District court, etc. Maybe, it’s time to formalize that those who make decisions that affect many people need also to be held accountable for what they do. Maybe, there needs to be more light revealed in areas where there is darkness.
A few years later, I again attended another meeting at the same church. I got out of my car. Again, the night was dark and again the lights on the church were turned off. Again, I was stumbling from my car to get into the church, and leaving the church hours later, to stumble back to my car in the darkness.
They didn’t leave the light on.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
We can leave the light on for others.
We can leave the light on for our country and the world.
We need more light to penetrate the darkness for all of us.
May it be so.