“It’s not fair!” the second graders complained. Add a little foot stomping or door slamming for effect. Brothers or sisters have later bedtimes or get a bigger piece of cake. Sometimes the second graders get blamed for things they didn’t do. Even waiting is just not fair.
Then the discussion got serious. It’s not fair that my uncle has cancer again. It’s not fair that some kids do not have enough food to eat. It’s not fair my grandma died.
As adults we resonate with the “not fairness” of life too. It’s not fair I’m downsized out of a job. It’s not fair they get to go to Hawaii again. It’s not fair that we struggle so hard to just pay the bills.
In our Bible story this week Luke 4:14-30, the people in the synagogue are angry at what they think is unfair. Jesus reads from scripture and claims that He will fulfill the good news—freedom for the oppressed, sight for the blind, and hope for the poor. The people in Jesus’ home town are excited about this message. Maybe they are thinking they will get special treatment since they have known Jesus their whole life. Instead Jesus reminds them of Bible stories about outsiders that God has healed and protected. Filled with rage, they then drive Jesus away.
Jesus came to earth to enter into the unfairness which most certainly exists in life. Not only does Jesus fight the unfairness with freedom, healing, and welcome. Jesus also experienced the unfairness himself as he was betrayed and denied by his friends, arrested and beaten by political and religious leaders, then condemned to death on a cross. Jesus was not guilty of anything but bringing love, welcome, and healing. Yet Jesus stayed on the cross—not because of the nails, but because of his love. Jesus did not respond fairly. Jesus returned hatred with forgiveness.
*I wonder how our attitude would change if we truly believed that God has enough love for the whole world–every single person—even and especially those we don’t like.
*I wonder how our heart would change if we saw others through the compassionate eyes of Jesus—especially those experiencing unfairness and unwelcome.
*I wonder what healing would happen if we worried more about others’ needs than our own wants.
* I wonder what freedom could result from forgiving those who have hurt us instead of hanging on to the anger.
Give us courage and hope when we are faced with unfairness. Help us remember that You walk beside us and carry us when we can no longer go on. Your love is wide enough for everyone—including me and those who have hurt me.
Forgive us when we forget the many blessings we have; instead thinking we deserve more. Open our eyes that we may see the needs, fears, pain of others.
Help us not be afraid to defend the oppressed, the poor, the powerless, because of the anger and might of the powerful. Teach us to live and love like Jesus. Amen
Here is an article about God’s love: http://refocusministry.org/2016/01/28/love-you-most/