Lenten Reflections: When Do We Advocate for Justice?
Photo by Flickr user time_anchor
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during Lent, we offer reflections from Bread staff and others who faithfully work to end hunger.
Lectionary readings (from the Revised Common Lectionary):
2 Timothy 4:1-5
Why and when do we advocate for justice? Today’s readings urge us to consider our grounding and our timing.
In Daniel 9, the prophet pleads for God to rescue Jerusalem and its people. Daniel knows he can’t point to the people’s faithfulness to justify God’s intervention. Time and again the people strayed, worshipping foreign idols, forgetting the amazing story of redemption from slavery in Egypt. All Daniel can fall back on is the depth of God’s mercies. The standard isn’t human faithfulness; it’s the sky-high standard of God’s limitless love.
As we advocate in our day, we know how short we’ve fallen from the fullness of faithfulness. How tentative we’ve been in speaking truth to our leaders. How discouraged and even cynical we’ve gotten with the political process. How fleeting and narrow our successes seem. How we’ve lost sight of God’s great mercies.
Stop it, Daniel says. We’ll never measure up if it’s only about us. What we point to and rely on is God’s steadfastness. All other ground is sinking sand.
The letter to Timothy looks to the setting and time in which we advocate. These days we have our fingers to the wind, deciding the perfect time to act. We hesitate, for when so many people disparage government’s role, when partisanship and electoral politics reign, when budget cuts are the order of the day, is now really the time to speak out boldly on God’s justice priorities?
Stop it, the epistle writer says. It’s not about whether the times are advantageous. We should be present and vocal whatever the political environment. In fact, faith swirls as a counter-cyclical wind: When the situation looks worst, that’s exactly when we’re called to the most expressive, determined advocacy.
Now is that time. God’s great mercy endures. Let’s do it.
Larry Hollar is North Central senior regional organizer for Bread for the World.
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