Ched Myers offers an 18-minute video on what it means to be an “advocate” by looking at Luke 7:36-8:3. The work of advocacy, he says, is “calling people in, both allies and adversaries, to the work of justice for all.”
Or as activists today say, “You don’t need to be a voice for the voiceless–just pass the mic!”
“Jesus says to us ‘You are the light of the world.’ We have grown accustomed to Advent being the season of light, but let us agree to make this Advent a season of fire. Be consumed by the energy that dwells and is growing within. Let it burn in you. Let God use fire to purify the cosmos through you and make ready the Way of the Lord.”—Caryll Houselander, woodcarver and mystic
“‘What did you go out to the desert to see—a reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.’”—Luke 7: 24-26
Jesus is challenging the crowd—provoking them to push their questions deeper. Did they think they think John the Baptist out preaching in the desert was someone who they could use for their own political purposes—a reed swayed by the prevailing political winds? Did they think they would find someone preaching a prosperity gospel? If they sought either of these, then they should around and go home. If, however, they came seeking the word of God, then they should stay. In John they have found not only a prophet, but in the community around John there is one of whom John will say, “Behold! The Lamb of God.”
For most of his ministry, Jesus worked the edges of the field, the social and political margins. He gathered around him those who fell through the safety net; those for whom the institutions weren’t working; those forced to make do in the chaos of areas that had been abandoned by civilized society.
It was not because the people he found there were better or purer or more righteous or more innocent. It was because that’s what God told him to do. Travel writer and mystic Phil Cousineau says, “The purpose behind questions is to initiate the quest.” At some point in his life, Jesus asked a question.
What question directs your life?
Breathe in. Breathe out. Ad…..vent.
With gratitude to Pax Christi USA where some of these reflections first appeared in print..