Monday, December 11, 2017
Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Before I became a cop, I had seen my fair share of evil on a foreign battlefield, but I had not fully understood that Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs for short) see the absolute worst that humanity has to offer here at home. They must deal with that emotionally. Their families must contend with a father or mother who might have lasting scars from what they’ve had to see and do. Paul Harvey once said, “The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman. And, of course, he'd have to be genius… For he will have to feed a family on a policeman's salary.”
Late one night in my police utility vehicle, I stopped between calls with my partners Alex and Dave to chat. We had got to talking about what it’s like to be a Christian and a police officer. I made the point that people generally don’t like us. LEOs have the ability to take away their freedoms, fine them for traffic violations and when we show up to an emergency call, typically somebody has lost the ability to solve a situation themselves and we are expected to solve it for them. And we must be perfect and justified; every time and without exception. It’s very easy to get disillusioned. Alex made the point that while we might arrest a criminal, and charge them for their actions, we are truly no better than they are, because they also bear the image of God. Christ came and died for their sins, too, and we are just instruments of justice. David and I agreed that being police officers and Christians, we share a double accountability to the people we serve, and the God that we serve. All of us concluded that to be an effective cop we needed to practice our faith in our profession as well.
That conversation reminded me of what it means to be Christ-like. LEOs must take on crime and do the right thing legally and ethically because they love their communities enough to sacrifice their lives. Jesus became a human being, to take on the sins of the world, just so we can be redeemed to God in Heaven, because He loves all of us. Jesus took on every rape, every murder, every lie, every crime, every hurt; past, present and future. What an unimaginable burden that Jesus took on for us. What an amazing God we have who has the power to conquer every sin! This was the good news that lit up the sky, two-thousand and some odd Christmases ago.
This Advent season, we look forward to Christ’s return in victory to put a final end to the evil of this world. In the meantime, there will be police officers, deputy sheriffs, troopers, jailers and corrections officers on duty. They will be on duty every holiday, every weekend, every child’s birthday, every spouse’s anniversary, and every special occasion so that our society can be safe. Please join me in prayer for all of those who do their best to keep the peace.
PRAYER: Jesus protect these men and women. Comfort them, give them strength and bring them home at the end of their shifts. And thank you for the self-giving example you set for all of us. Amen.
Prayer Focus: those willing to sacrifice themselves to protect others