Nope, I don’t see any elephant ears…

Photo by Filip Mroz

“It’s not fair!” he whined, tears welling up in his eyes and his face beginning to flush red. “It’s not just NOT FAIR!”

My son had collapsed into a heap on the football field. The fathers versus sons two-hand touch football had just concluded. The game had been an epic contest between ankle biting five year old boys and way past their prime dads. This battle of football giants had ended, as they have from the beginning of time, in a tie.

“Don’t they know? Football games don’t tie! This is just terrible! IT. IS. NOT. FAIR!”

My son, my first born child who has a passion for justice, even at the age of five, just couldn’t handle something not being fair. He knew that the game was rigged, and he hated it.

My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with adults whining, “It’s not fair!” Their candidate lost or their candidate is being maligned or their favorite sports team got a bad call and lost.

Somewhere inside each of us is this desire to see the world set right. We inherently know that the world is out of sorts. It’s a bit broken and at times, it doesn’t seem fair.

In Isaiah 42 we find the first of four of Isaiah’s “Servant Songs.” These songs give us glimpses into who the Messiah would be and what would do. In verse one Isaiah writes, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.”

I love that one of the things that Jesus will ultimately do is to “bring forth justice to the nations.” The “nations” is referring to the whole of the people of the world. Eventually, there will be a day when justice will reign. As I continue to grow in my understanding of what it means to live out the gospel I am finding that as we apply it to every day circumstances justice is the result.

Biblical justice is a little different than our legal understanding of justice. Biblical justice refers to human society experiencing wholeness or “shalom.” It’s what happens when humanity is living in step with God’s commands and loving him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Ultimately, we will experience this when Christ makes all things new. Until that time, we have a responsibility as his ambassadors to begin trying to live that out now.

It’s hard to keep going and pressing on. Often I feel like my five year old son and just want to melt down. But, I’m reminded by Isaiah 42 that there is a bigger picture. There is more to come. So in the meantime, I will seek to remove the barriers to justice.

It’s Not Fair was originally published in The Rev on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.