"So if I, the Master and Teacher," said Jesus, "washed your feet, you must now wash each other's feet." The One who will be executed, kneeling during supper, offers a lesson in faith, a lesson in humility and service and discipleship. "This is my command," he says. "Love one another as I have loved you." Only by his kneeling does healing become possible. Only in his selflessness, even on the eve of execution, is God's light revealed in a scheming, contested, angry world. "Love one another."
So how can it be, then, that the State of Arkansas promises healing to the families of these seven victims? How can it be that the courts there convince the bereaved that the path to wholeness is vengeance, that the road to renewal is crucifixion, that the fix they've needed all these years is another dead man? Or seven of them?
Let us finally say, "Enough." Let us at last acknowledge that vengeance is a bitter drink that poisons and never heals. The death penalty is the grim, deadly and duplicitous promise--made by politicians and courts for their own gain and glory--that might makes right. That a calculated murder takes the sting away from another calculated murder. And this month, the State of Arkansas proves only its folly and its cruelty. Lord, have mercy.