Devotional Before Oath of Office
Officer Cameron Worley
Belvidere Police Department
Boone County Sheriff’s Department
January 6, 2017
I was going to say what I’ve always said at these times - that I’ve been a Kopp all of my life - but nobody ever laughs; and I realize some folks just want me to get on with it and say a quick prayer so everybody can get going.
Please don’t think that I’m singling you out; because that’s how most folks feel when I preach on Sundays.
Well, I won’t take too long because I’ve also got things to do; but this is a special day for Cameron and we should savor it with him as we are reminded of our fraternity dedicated to the health and welfare of Belvidere and Boone County America and the special qualities required for our ministries of law enforcement and crime prevention.
Today, I want to encourage Cameron and remind the rest of us about the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual balance required of “shepherds” like us who are charged by God through our oaths of office to protect citizens from the wolves ready to ravage them.
Jesus explained the balance like this, “You are called to protect sheep from wolves; so be as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove.”
To be “as wise as a serpent” is to recognize there are predators in our world and dedicate ourselves to prayer, training, vigilance, and teamwork to protect people from them.
To be “as gentle as a dove” is to remember there are many more good people than bad people in our world and that the overwhelming majority of them are praying and rooting for us with thanks to God.
I like how Martin Luther King, Jr. explained this balance: “We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.”
He went on, “The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of softmindedness…[but]…Toughmindedness without tenderheartedness is cold and detached…Jesus reminds us that the good life combines the toughness of the serpent and the tenderness of the dove. To have serpentlike qualities devoid of dovelike qualities is to be passionless, mean, and selfish. To have dovelike without serpentlike qualities is to be sentimental, anemic, and aimless.”
Jesus says we must join Cameron and all of our sisters and brothers in law enforcement and crime prevention in being tough and tender; for one without the other makes us imbalanced.
If you are one without the other, you are an imbalanced Kopp/cop with a K or C.
Remember, there are wolves out there.
Our job is to protect people from them and put them out of business.
Remember, there are sheep out there who are praying and rooting for us to succeed/fulfill our call to law enforcement and crime prevention.
Be balanced…and you’ll always tip the scales of justice for righteousness’ sake.
Let us pray.
Thank You, God, for the privilege of law enforcement and crime prevention as a sacred calling to honor You by protecting the health and welfare of citizens entrusted to our care. As we thank You for Cameron and his particular call to this shared ministry and pray every encouragement for him, bless his partnership with our Mayor and Council, municipal employees, firefighters, police, Fire Chief, Police Chief, Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Judges, public servants, and citizenry dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as endowed by our Creator, guided by Holy Scripture, and ultimately redeemed by grace through faith in Jesus as we pray in His name. Amen.
Blessings and Love!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!
Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
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