Advent Day 12: Advocate

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.” (John 16:5–11 NLT)

In the late 1970s, juvenile court Judge David W. Soukup realized that he was given the task of making a life-changing decision for a three-year-old child who had suffered from child abuse, but there was no one present in the courtroom available solely to speak on the child’s behalf. Everyone else had other motivations that were also in play. Out of this realization grew an organization called Court Appointed Special Advocates, which matches volunteers with children in cases of abuse and neglect so they can speak up for them in court, providing a voice to the voiceless and guiding these children through the process.

Likewise, the Holy Spirit – the Advocate – serves as our guide through life and provides a voice for us, allowing us to directly communicate with God. Before the Advocate, receiving a word from the Lord looked very different than it does now, oftentimes coming through a vision or dream sent by God. During Mary’s pregnancy and after Jesus was born, Joseph had three different dreams where angels provided instructions for him to carry out. Because we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, we now have a direct line of communication with God to receive His wisdom and guidance in all things.

Put into practice Paul’s command to “never stop praying” by seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance in all of your interactions throughout today, keeping that line of communication open all day long (1 Thessalonians 5:17).