Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Advocate

Want to share this with someone?

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the problems in this world?

Do you ever wonder, what's the point? I'm just one person. How can my voice change anything at all?

Well, enter into the conversation this week's word: advocate.

It's a word that reminds us that we can do something. We can stand up for one person.

Advocate is a verb which means to pled the cause of another, to support or argue for another.

Or as I like to define it, to advocate is to believe that another person's goodness and well-being is directly tied to mine.

In 2019, I attended a Friday night Shabbat prayer service at a Jewish synagogue in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. There were so many powerful moments in this service as Jews and Gentiles alike prayed together and as we held hands with strangers and sang, “We Shall Overcome.”

But honestly, what I will remember most is what the Rabbi said.

During her sermon, she told us to look at our neighbor and know that our freedom and our liberation was tied to that of our neighbors. You need to know this: most of us were gathered among strangers.

"Yet for any of us to be truly free," she said, "all of us have to be free."

Think about that for a minute. Powerful, right?

No matter if our history with one another is short our long-- we all belong to each other. We all need each other to live the abundant lives God has called us to live. We all need to do our part to protect the most vulnerable among us.

So, here's what I would love you to do this week if you're up for it:

Pick one neighbor of yours (and by neighbor I mean anybody close or far) that you can advocate for.

It might mean attending a community or school board meeting, advocating for a child in your neighborhood to have the safest school year.

It might mean calling a friend who is struggling with depression, advocating for a tired soul to find rest.

It might mean writing a note to a member of Congress about an issue that is close to your heart.

The possibilities are endless, really. It might be as simple as wearing your mask when you'd rather not.

I know what I'm asking you to do is HARD work. But please hear me say, I'm doing it alongside you, seeking to learn more this week about what it means to be an advocate. It's the work I believe God calls us to do the most! Let's talk again next Sunday.