“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” - Luke 9:49-50
Privilege feels like a precious resource, and there’s a huge part of human nature that will do whatever it can to preserve it. That’s what’s going on for the disciples here. They know Jesus personally, they are on his special team of 12, and they’ve been empowered to do the works that he did. So when they see someone else doing those works, they try to push them to the margins. But guess who keeps showing up at the margins?
That’s right - it’s Jesus!
Below is the simple shape we use at City Church to remind ourselves of our tendency to push people out from the center towards the margins and of the invitation that Jesus always extends to join him there on the margins with others.
Take a few minutes today and think about the privileges that you have - anything from health to friendships to resources. Are there ways you may be tempted to overzealously guard them? Can you see where Jesus may be showing up in the lives of those without those privileges?
This season at City Church we’ve been talking a fair amount about race since there’s a ton of privilege associated with race. As part of your connection with God today, you might consider reading one or both of these two short pieces. One is by Peggy McIntosh, a White woman, about her realizations around the privileges that being White granted her in society. The other is by Austin Channing Brown, a Black woman, about how tiresome it can be when conversations around race and privilege center only on White people and don’t include the stories and experience of people of color. Ask God to speak to you, challenge you, comfort you, and change you as you read.
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
White Privilege Weariness by Austin Channing Brown