A man walked into a church in Charleston, S.C. during a Bible study and shot 9 people. He stated that it was necessary because "they" were committing heinous crimes and ruining "his" country. Or our country. Doesn't matter.
The people in that historic AME church had the right to worship, to gather, and were killed because of their race. I wasn't. Because I'm privileged.
Christians in the Middle East have been marched to a seaside and summarily beheaded due to an interpretation and an ideology that suggests if you aren't "for us you're against us." And, if you're against us then our god is against you too.
They believed in Jesus, or didn't have the right religion in question, and they were killed. I wasn't. Because I'm privileged.
Every single day, people are executed and marginalized and forgotten. They are robbed of humanity, raped either in body or in spirit, they are pushed down usually by someone else who is on the way up.
I haven't been. I wasn't. I probably won't be. Because I'm privileged.
If you are privileged as well, please hear me. Jesus wasn't privileged. He was voluntarily marginalized and rejected. He, God with skin on, walked without privilege even though He had every right to (Phil. 2:5-11).
We miss it. We miss the lesson. We miss one of the most obvious teachings of Jesus.
If you want to be a part of the Kingdom rescue project, step one is realizing that you are privileged.
We can't blame others. We can't find the voice that reassures us that "us" and "them" makes sense.
It doesn't, and it's complete nonsense to Jesus. Incarnation means no more "us" and "them." Incarnation means it's all "us."
The revolutionary Jesus forms us to all have one privilege. Grace in the Kingdom. All are invited.
We have to think through what it means to share privilege. To be formed to know what is "right" and what is "righteous."
Charleston is not right. To ignore the reality of what Charleston means is unrighteous.
Lord Jesus, come. Help us with our privileges. Shape us for others, always, so that if our sisters and brothers are not free then none of us are free. Come.