11.19.2010

Law Chapel: Practicing the Law Foreshadows Future Hope in Christ

On Thurs., November 18, Regent Law Chapel welcomed the university’s Director of Campus Ministries, Dr. Richard Kidd, who inspired students with a message of hope.

Kidd peppered his message with personal legal anecdotes including the collapse of a former business into bankruptcy, the experiences of a friend and college roommate who became a successful attorney, and the trial experiences of a victimized family member who did not receive justice.

These experiences reminded students that in their future practices they will deal with people in dire circumstances whose ultimate question will be, “Are you going to bring me any hope?”

Kidd challenged students to realize that though a just and successful legal outcome for their clients is good, as Christian attorneys they have a mandate to give their clients more. He asked the question: “How can the law itself help those in despair?”

As part of his answer, Kidd referenced 1 Cor. 15:19-20 (ESV), “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” He explained that the answer is found in pointing people beyond the present to the real, future implications of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and making this hope “the anchor of their legal practice.”

But what about those who do not receive earthly justice?

Kidd noted how the Corinthian church struggled with the delay in the fulfillment of their own hope of resurrection. He referred to German theologian Jürgen Moltmann’s “Theology of Hope” which describes an “interval of tension” - the time between God’s promise and its fulfillment.

Kidd explained that the existence of the law and the truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a foreshadowing of the fulfillment of God’s promises and that Christian lawyers reflect these in a practical way.

He explained, “As you practice law and demonstrate justice, even if you are unsuccessful, you are proclaiming to the world the truth that God will win! The message of the cross is that justice will prevail; God will have His say in the world even when there seems to be no hope.”

Kidd closed with the following challenge to students:

“I hope and pray that as you leave this place, you will go with the truth of the resurrection firmly in your heart, that you will practice law with all the ferocity and expertise that your professors can give you because the innocent victims out there deserve superb representation. But I hope that you will tell them that their [ultimate] hope is anchored in Jesus, the Great Advocate.”


- By Kristy Morris