18 Then Yeshua told his disciples a parable, in order to impress on them that they must always keep praying and not lose heart. 2 “In a certain town, there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected other people. 3 There was also in that town a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me a judgment against the man who is trying to ruin me.’ 4 For a long time he refused; but after awhile, he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God, and I don’t respect other people; 5 but because this widow is such a nudnik, I will see to it that she gets justice — otherwise, she’ll keep coming and pestering me till she wears me out!’”
6 Then the Lord commented, “Notice what this corrupt judge says. 7 Now won’t God grant justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Is he delaying long over them? 8 I tell you that he will judge in their favor, and quickly! But when the Son of Man comes, will he find this trust on the earth at all?”
It’s the last day of 2014 a year in which for fortunate people there have been a mixture of joys and sorrows, but for unfortunate people, such as Syrians, Afghanis, Iraqis, North Koreans, Sudanis, homosexuals in Africa, tribal peoples of the rainforest, and many more, it has brought unremitting trouble.
If we believe in justice on this earth, we can identify with the petitioner in Jesus’ story. She gets no results but she keeps at it, and eventually the corrupt judge caves in. Jesus says that God is not corrupt and will speedily help those who suffer injustice. Oh yeah? When and where Jesus?
Jesus was referring to the coming of the Son of Man, the representative of God’s rule on earth. But in a moment of doubt, Jesus himself asks if the Son of Man will find anyone on earth who trusts in justice.
Sometimes it seems that way, but when we look day by day at the news as I do for this blog, we can see every day news that gives us hope and trust. On the doomed passenger ferry in the Adriatic, there were men who pushed women and children out of the road to get rescued; but there were also men who helped control these cowards and who waited until the very last before accepting rescue. There are people who get hysterical as soon as there is any possibilty of Ebola reaching their nations; but there also people like the Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey who volunteered to work in Sierra Leone and has returned to the UK with symptoms of the disease. They and many others every day make themselvves a channel for God’s goodness and restore trust in a source of justice for the world. They help to answer Jesus’ anguished question. They say by their actions that there will continue to be trust on the earth that justice will one day prevail.
The realism of the Bible is a good guide for the New Year. It does not pretend there is no darkness ahead. It does say, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.”
Where there’s a dark corner in your land, brothers and sisters, I trust you’ll let your little lights shine in 2015.