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Being an Advocate

May 25, 2011

In one of the lectionary scriptures for this Sunday, John 14:15-21, Jesus promises his followers that once he has departed, an advocate will come to them. That Spirit will be an advocate who will stand by them and lead them; it will live within them. An advocate, one who speaks on our behalf, is within each of us. Thinking about the Spirit as an advocate brings a new light to the way the Spirit calls us to live and to be.

The Rev. Dr. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the Word and winner of the 2010 World Food Prize, suggests that people of faith, and especially Christian people, are called not just to acts of service, but also to be advocates. In his book, Exodus from Hunger, he argues that to fully live into who Christ calls us to be we need to be a voice for the voiceless – an advocate.

Next time you go to get your groceries don’t forget food for Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). We give food to feed those in our community who are hungry. That is important. It is also important that our national food policies work to feed people in the United States and around the world. Bring a can of tuna and be an advocate: Write a letter to your Representative encouraging him or her to support legislation that cares for poor and hungry people or give to Bread for the World, the leading organization lobbying for poor and hungry people. To get started, visit Bread for the World’s web site, where you will find a Christian perspective on the current budget battles. The advocate is within each of us; let us lift that Spirit to do good in the world.