Sore Knees: Advocate
In A Path Appears, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn describe how
the brains of high-achieving people see images of poor people and process them as if they were not humans but things…and perceive in themselves the triumph of a simple narrative: you study hard, work assiduously, sacrifice for the future, obey the law, and create your own good fortune.
At LEAPAsia, we recognize that compared to 90% of the world, we are wealthy. Even more, because of undeserved favor, we are also rich in resources–education, opportunity, experience, connections, platforms, and Yahweh’s mercy. We hope to use these resources to advocate for others, mediating between them and:
- self: building their confidence and identity
- the academic world: helping them get and stay in school and graduate
- society: both theirs and ours; helping them maneuver their own and also standing up for them when others, in either society, put them down
- Yahweh: taking them before the throne
In this week’s sore knees challenge post, our key word is advocate. We start with the Foundation who cultivates, relates with, and advocates for us. Then, we move toward our advocating for others.
The four sections of our teacher lectionary:
- Entering the Throne Room: a call to worship
- Seeking Mercy: confession, repentance, and forgiveness
- Advocating: mediating between Yahweh and our students (and their families), colleagues, and schools
- Going Forth: leaving the throne room blessed to be a blessing
References are linked to passages. Other links will take you to songs.
Entering the Throne Room
I set my eyes on my Champion. (Hebrews 12:2)
Be merciful to me a sinner when I think that I am the Champion.
- When I think–and even thank You –that I’m better than others. (Luke 18:9-14)
- When I expect more from others than I expect from myself; when I judge their sins more harshly than my own. (Matthew 18:21-35)
- When I consider others unclean and unworthy of my help or respect; when my tongue gets away from me and my words sow disrespect and disharmony. (Luke 10:25-37; James 3:9-12)
- When I hoard my resources (wealth, education, opportunity, experience, connections, platforms, and Your mercy) instead of spending them on others. (Luke 12:16-21)
Remember that I am but dust; help me to humble myself before you and become a blessing to others. (Matthew 5:3-10)
- Realizing my spiritual poverty and humbly grieving over my sins much more than the sins of others.
- Hungering and thirsting after justice and showing mercy.
- Working for peace.
- Even to the point of being persecuted for doing good.
You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
I intercede for my students and colleagues; help me to be their champion:
- As far as it depends on me, may I live at peace with all of them. Help me to make peace, to sow in peace with my actions and words, in their presence and out. (Romans 12:18, James 3:17-18)
- Sure Foundation for our times, share your rich store of wisdom with me so that I know how to spend my resources and myself on their behalf. Help me to use what I am rich in to mediate between them and others, between them and You so that light may rise in their darkness. (Isaiah 58:6-12)
- May I be to them Your ambassador of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
- Through me…in spite of me, release the slaves, heal the diseased, feed the hungry, and welcome the strangers. Light up their prisons, and proclaim them favored. In seen and unseen ways, by and for Your Name. (Luke 4:18-19; Matthew 25:34-40)
- I intercede for them before Your throne. When words fail me, Champion, groan on their behalf. (Romans 8:26-27)
Remember that they are but dust. Be gracious toward them and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
For the glory of Your Name!
The Peace Prayer of St. Francis.