Monday Reflection – December 09, 2019
Equity and Equality
Today is a significant day in the life of the Moravian Church in Jamaica. It marks the beginning of Moravian missions here in 1754. Thus, 265 years ago the first three Moravian missionaries landed in Jamaica to begin mission work here. We remember Zacharias George Caries, Thomas Shallcross and Gottlieb Haberecht. We remember the many others who came from abroad, many who were not deterred by the frequent deaths of those who preceded them. We remember our native clergy and lay members who labored long and hard over the years towards the establishment of our congregations and the sustenance of our ministry, upon whose shoulders we stand today. We remember those who labour today, giving of their time, talent and treasure for the continuation of the ministry of Christ. Above all, we remember our Ebenezer God, who has led, directed, provided and sustained our beloved Church over these 265 years.
We hear Christ’s clarion call in the words of Horatius Bonar:
Go, labor on; spend, and be spent;
Thy joy to do the Father’s will;
It is the way the Master went;
Should not the servant tread it still?
You must not be partial in judging: hear out the small and the great alike; you shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s. Deuteronomy 1:17
In the context of today’s Watchword, Moses chose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men, who were heads of the tribes, and appointed them judges over the people. Moses relieved himself of such burdens and instructed the leaders in the principles of righteous leadership.
They were to:
ü Hear cases and listen to each side, irrespective of their status
ü Exercise impartiality in their judgements
ü Not allow anyone to intimidate them
ü Judge righteously
The term “partiality” literally means “face”, and the verb means “to regard.” For the judges, as a person approached, they should not attempt to see or recognize who it was coming before them, but to hear the case fairly and impartially. The judge was to treat all cases without prejudice. Therefore, they were not to give sentence according to the outward qualities of the person, as he is poor or rich, your friend or enemy, but purely according to the merit of the cause. Interestingly, it is for this reason that some of the Grecian law-givers ordered that the judges should give sentence in the dark where they could not see people’s faces.
As we go about our daily tasks, we should be careful about how we treat others; whether in the words we say or the things we do. Partiality should not be found among God’s people. We should treat each other fairly and justly, seeking always to honour God. Let the church be a place where persons know that they are as important as everyone else, irrespective of their history, status, qualification or position. Let the church be the church!