By Lance Mayes
I spent yesterday learning about advocacy — how to give a voice to the voiceless and marginalized. I specifically learned about immigration, the child welfare system, and general advocacy. Today I get to talk with my representative and senator about what I’ve learned and what I think about bills that have been introduced.
The biggest lesson that I have learned is to keep the conversation open and going. This involves lots of listening and humility. It is easier to do this (especially with those you disagree with) when you remember that all people are made in the image of God.
What does this have to do with Ash Wednesday?
In Psalm 51:1-17 you see prayers like:
- “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.”
- “Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.”
- “Oh, give me back my joy again.”
- “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.”
These prayers keep us humble. If we keep these prayers in our minds and on our hearts, our advocacy for the voiceless and marginalized can be greater. We need to remember:
- From dust we came and to dust we shall return
- We are sinners
- We are mortal
- God provides mercy, love and joy to all (even those I disagree with)
The journey through Lent begins with taking a hard look inside and acknowledging the ugly parts we want to hide. The journey begins on Ash Wednesday with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads reminding us of our mortality and need for repentance.
Join us Wednesday, March 1 at 6:15 in the Sanctuary for our Ash Wednesday Service. Let’s individually and corporately remember we are all the same — we are all image-bearers and sinners. We all receive God’s mercy, love and joy. We must humbly listen more. And we must boldly (in love and respect) speak up.