12th June 2019

Pied Poudre

“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
Numbers 23:19 (NIV)

In medieval England and Scotland, visiting fairs were considered major events attended by most of the local population. The word ‘fair’ in Latin is ‘feria’ meaning festival, and indeed that is how people considered them. Fairs provided a major economic contribution to life in the middle ages. Merchants would come from far and wide to buy and sell their wares, some honest and some unscrupulous. Short measure, theft, shoddy goods and even violence could occur. A solution to these problems was the ‘Court of Pied Poudre,’ which was the common name though they were also known as the ‘Court of Piepowders.’ The term in English is roughly translated ‘dusty feet.’ The miscreants would receive instant on-site justice from the Mayor and bailiffs of the borough. Following judgement, the villains would be driven off— thus the ‘dusty feet.’

Today we have trading standards to protect the consumer. Even so, we read of occasions when vendors cheat or short-change the public. How wonderful it is that we as Christians have a God who never short-changes us. Quite the contrary, God continually loves us without conditions. He is ever merciful, and His promises are sure. Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

We have confidence that the promises God has given us stand true. He tells us in Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Courts of Pied Poudre lasted well into the 19th century. They were an effective tool of justice. We can rejoice in the fact that in God’s kingdom we will have no need of them or similar. Honesty and integrity bound by love will be the rule of the day— thy kingdom come!

Wonderful Father, thank you for your greatness. As your children, we trust and love you with hearts full of gratitude for your mercy and compassion.

Study by Irene Wilson

About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george.sueann.henderson49@gmail.com

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