Take a few minutes to push the “pause” button on whatever is going on around you and be still with God.
Luke 18:1-8 (NRSV)
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
When I read this scripture passage, I cannot help but reflect on the way in which justice in our world often seems to work. I see it working like the judge in this story who “neither feared God nor had respect for people.” In the parable, the widow continues to confront the judge, who is capable of helping her. Eventually, the judge does seek justice for the widow. However, the judge ultimately serves himself. He only seeks justice for the widow when he realizes that it will benefit him. He seeks justice not to relieve the widow of her problem, but to relieve himself. The judge was not concerned with any injustice against her until she became an annoyance to him.
In our world many people are crying out against injustices. They cry out to those in power to bring about change, but their voices are not always heard, or they are ignored. Yet, as injustice continues, so do their cries and pleas against it. Much like the widow, these people become an annoyance to those in power. Then, and usually only then, the peoples’ voices are heard, and some justice is delivered.
In this parable, Jesus tells us that God will not delay in granting justice to those who cry out to God. How comforting it is to know that God hears our call for help! I think Jesus’ message is two-fold. When we are crying out against injustices we’ve experienced, we know that God hears us and will sustain us during our fight for justice. Also, we must not turn a blind eye or deaf ear when we are aware that others are suffering from injustices. As God responds, may we respond.
Holy God, we praise you for being a good, just God. We give you thanks for hearing our desperate pleas for help. O God, give us strength that we may endure injustice when it comes. Give us courage, that we may support and stand with our brothers and sisters who thirst for justice. Amen.
Go with God.