Trial and Error
Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the people, and God will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me!” – Micah 6:2-3 (NRSV)
A trial is underway. God is both plaintiff and judge. The people together are the defendant. And all creation – from the highest mountains to earth’s deepest foundations – is the jury.
It strikes me as appropriate that creation should assess humanity’s culpability for injustice and injury. When we judge one another, our own sinfulness distorts our assessment of others’ sins. In another’s abuses, we notice our own greeds or traumas. In another’s errors, we find reflections of our own fears or schemes. We assess too harshly or too leniently. We acquit our own guilt. We obstruct one another’s well-being.
The jury of creation is much more impartial, having known the faithfulness of God across decades and centuries, having experienced the upheaval and patience of change across millennia. By comparison, humans are fickle and impulsive, reckless and weak.
What has God’s faithfulness done to us, that we reject humility?
How has God’s love wearied us, that we neglect mercy?
How do we defend our case to the jury of mountains?
How do we answer for our persistent injustice?
The tabloids of heaven broadcast the controversy of a holy covenant broken by the people. Broken by us. Corrupted by us.
Do we not already know creation’s verdict?
God, have mercy: we are guilty of the charges against us. Christ, have mercy: we are guilty of excusing injustice. God, have mercy: we are accountable to the mountains, to one another, and to you.