Charity is good; justice is better. Whenever we encourage powerful people, agencies, and organizations to attend to the needs of people who are (or feel) powerless, and do so without pay or personal to gain, we are being advocates. In such moments we are loving our neighbors in word and in deed: We are being living sermons.
One way to understand advocacy is to remember that one of the names for the Holy Spirit in Scripture is a parakletos (the Greek word for “one who stands alongside”). As we enter the season of Pentecost, we remember Jesus promised the disciples that he would send them an advocate (John 14). This Advocate “intercedes with sighs too deep for words…for all the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26–27).
Christians, we ourselves have been the recipients of Christ’s own advocacy. Our messages of advocacy to our policy-makers help us fulfill our baptismal promise to be light to the world.
This message is an excerpt from “Faith Reflections” by Susan Schneider, in the August 2012 issue of Cafe. Today we observe the Holy Trinity or the First Sunday after Pentecost.