Jury Duty. It’s one of those civic duties that we all should participate in, but very few seem to like it. Larry is a guy that got his first summons to appear for jury duty on January 21, 2015. He had a conflict, though and the court agreed that fulfilling a constitutional duty to be sworn in as governor that day meant that he should be able to reschedule his jury duty. So, on June 10, 2015, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland reported for jury duty, went through the security screenings that we’ve all come to know and love, watched an orientation video, and waited for his name to be called. He did one thing most of us wouldn’t do, though – he took selfies with anyone who wanted one. After about three hours, he was dismissed and went back to his regular job.
The Governor got back from what must have been an exciting 12-day Asian tour to work on trade for his state in time to report to jury duty and possibly sit on a case involving anything from a parole violation to a DUI. While both activities are important to the state, it really was a case of moving from the sublime to the ridiculous. Peter, James, and John witnessed the most amazing sight when Jesus took them with Him to the mountain where He was transfigured. They saw Him in the company of Moses and Elijah, and then, God put Him in a class by Himself. It must have been an amazing experience. Then, they came down from the mountain top. “When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. ‘Lord, have mercy on my son,’ he said. ‘He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.’” (Matthew 17:14-15)
As Christians, we crave those “mountain top” experiences. As younger people, we went to camp or on mission projects. We really felt God’s presence during those times. We came back to church and testified to how God worked in our lives and how we could sense His presence when we were alone and with our friends from church. As adults, we travel to conferences or retreats. We grow in our relationship with God because we focus all of our being on drawing close to Him in those times. But youth come home from camp and mission trips; adults come back from conferences and retreats; real world stuff hits us like a ton of bricks. It happened to Jesus. There He was on the mountain top experiencing the presence of the Father like no one else ever has, and then, He came down from the mountaintop and before He even had time to write His blog about the experience, a father came to Him with a tale of woe about his son who needed healing.
Let’s face it, real world experiences that hit us in the face after an amazing experience with God are a pain. It’s hard to do the mundane, everyday things of life right after we’ve experienced such joy and peace. When you really think about it, though, those special times with God are designed to prepare us for the mundane tasks of life. We are called to be in this world as ambassadors for Christ. It’s in making a reasoned, compassionate decision on jury duty; it’s in ministering to a sick child; it’s in caring for the single mother; it’s in comforting a grieving person that we display the love of Jesus Christ to others. If you claim to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and you would testify to that because of a special experience, then you are called to show your special relationship with Him in the mundane, the dirty tasks of caring for His people, being reminded that what we do for the least of these, we do to Him.
Oh Lord, if only I could live on the mountaintop with You all the time and experience Your presence. I still live on earth, though, and while I’m here, You have work for me to do. Help me to experience Your presence in the mundane tasks of life as well as on the mountain top and show Your love to others.