“Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
When I first heard the theme of this year’s devotional, I wasn’t sure that I would have anything to contribute. The past year has been one of the most difficult for so many people, for so many reasons. The list of hardships felt like it was ever-growing, while the list of bright spots was quickly diminishing. As I reflect, the spot that shines brightest is the growth of advocacy that has spread across our country. Folks are beginning to acknowledge the injustices that historically marginalized people continue to face and the cry for equity rings from sea to shining sea.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “the Advocate” who was sent to remind us of Jesus’s teachings, especially the command to love each other as He has loved us. But how can we love folks that we may not even like? Pastor Delmer Chilton writes, “Jesus calls us to ‘agape,’ self-sacrificial love. This is love that has to do with how we act toward one another, not how we feel about each other.” It is through this mindset shift that we find the glimmer of hope that might allow us to begin our journey of advocacy. Now is the time for us to speak out and defend the rights of the poor and needy. No matter where you stand within the realm of politics, the time has come for us to become political as we care for the well-being of society.
The hope that is peeking through the darkness of inequality and oppression is the brightest spot that I can find. May God guide us through the difficult journey of boldly raising our voices for righteousness while continuing to rise to God’s call of self-sacrificial love toward others.
God of reconciliation, as our nation begins the healing process, guide us toward your calling of agape love. Help us to speak out for justice while simultaneously building bridges. Remind us that every person is created in your image, a child of God. Open the hearts of our siblings in Christ to hear the calling of just mercy and righteousness. In Jesus’s name we pray,
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.