He almost made it. My friend Cliff had almost sat all the way down in his desk when the tardy bell rang. But still, our ninth-grade civics teacher counted my friend late, and this carried a punishment: a 1000-word essay due the next day.
Like most of us in the class, Cliff had arrived well before the late bell rang. He’d sat in his desk and pulled out his books—just like the rest of us. I had wanted to borrow a pen from my friend Melissa, who sat in front of Cliff. He’d offered to pass the pen from Melissa to me. This required him to get up from his desk, and as he returned to his seat he’d gotten caught by the bell.
I approached the teacher to explain how Cliff had only been helping me; it was actually my fault Cliff was counted late. But the teacher wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t persuade him to reconsider or assign the punishment to me. I knew it wasn’t fair that Cliff would suffer for something that wasn’t his fault. Yet I couldn’t do anything about it.
This moment of unfairness in my civics class troubled me, but it soon passed. Cliff penned the essay and harbored no anger toward me; we moved on. But our world teems with injustice much deeper than this. And God takes note of it all.
Our loving Lord cares about justice. In fact, He is enthroned as the Righteous Judge of all creation. And through Jesus’s death and resurrection, we can be counted as righteous before Him, and we can find hope knowing that Jesus will return to get rid of all injustice, permanently. In the meantime, God charges us to care about justice as He does. God has called us, His people, to be His agents for justice and righteousness on the earth—for one classmate in civics class or for people around the globe. As we do this, we can rest in His sure love and in the hope of Jesus’s return. • Allison Wilson Lee
• Are there problems in the world that frustrate or grieve you? What are some of them? Consider bringing these things to Jesus in prayer. He cares too—even more than we do.
• The big issues in the world can feel overwhelming, but what are some ways—big or small—that you could speak up for justice right where you are?
• If you want to learn more about how God defines justice, check out Isaiah 1:17, Zechariah 7:9, Proverbs 29:7, and Leviticus 19:15.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Psalm 89:14 (NIV)