I’m not quite sure what to make of all this talk about “privilege” nowadays. If they mean that some folks were born with advantages, well it seems that’s always been the case. If they mean that those born with advantages are responsible for realizing that truth, then that’s OK too. What concerns me most is the easy way all this jargon always descends into excuses not to think.
What all too often happens is like minded persons will reaffirm their already believed notions to one another and then settle in with that knowing look on their faces about those who disagree. And then dialogue and understanding come to a screeching halt!
The truth is some are born with advantages and others aren’t. But those born with advantages were also disadvantaged in other areas of their lives, just as those born into disadvantaged situations had advantages that filled their lives with “other” riches worth celebrating. Ever since the Garden when God created Man in His Image, humans were born with an advantage. Of course just like us today, our first parents squandered their advantage all for the false notion of “fairness” and God trying to “keep an advantage” from them. There really is nothing new under the sun.
But there is no mistaking the reality that advantages exist, and that isn’t about better or more worthy, but grace that must be both developed and appreciated AND shared!
Today’s Gospel Lesson allows us to get a peek into the ultimate privilege and blessing: the Faith Privilege.
Look at Luke 10:22-24: The Lord said, “All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
The ultimate privilege is to have the joy of knowing the Father through His Son, our Lord Jesus. This faith privilege was bestowed on those who seemed to be born without any privilege in their lives. The disciples of the Lord were born in an age where their nation was ruled by an occupying army, and empire that granted privilege to their citizens over those who were not citizens. They were born in an age where economic poverty was the rule of the day for these disciples. They were fishermen, hated tax collectors, political extremists, and even a betrayer. And yet, greater men before them who were born with all the privileges of their day of wealth and fame and prestige (prophets and kings) didn’t get the privilege these men received by being disciples of our Lord Jesus.
Today, rather than focusing your energies and thinking on what you don’t have, perhaps it’s time to escape the trick of the Evil One in getting you to ignore the one privilege you do have: You have the faith privilege! What a brilliant trick of the Evil One to get you to focus on smaller and temporary advantages all the while attempting to get you to take your greatest privilege for granted! You have available to you the riches of the Faith “once, for all, delivered to the saints” that fills your life with ultimate meaning, frees you from the fear of death, and invites you to the never-ending privilege of eternal life with your Creator, knowing Him, not merely as some distant God in the sky, but as your Father, and the Only true Lover of Mankind! This is a privilege offered to all regardless of their advantages or disadvantages in life! Why would we waste our time moaning over the temporary all the while missing the eternal? Let’s share our Faith privilege. It belongs to everyone!
P.S. What a great program last night on the unseen world of spiritual warfare! Fr. Lawrence helped us put all this in the perspective of the wise and sober Orthodox faith. Don’t worry if you missed it. You can go to ancientfaith.com/live and click the archive button and hear the program for yourself. You can even share it with others! Thanks for listening.