Dario Lopez Rodriguez’s The Liberating Mission of Jesus is about crossing the many kinds of boundaries created by thousands of years of colonization, spiritual segregation, and economic exploitation. Though the gospel of Luke gives Christians a clear guide for doing so through the words and actions of Jesus, my Christian ancestors presumably failed to love their neighbors and enemies alike, or to stand with the marginalized (unless I come from magnificently rebellious and revolutionary stock). As a result, I was born into a position of privilege – the member of a family who always had a roof over their head; in a city and state that provided me with quality, free education; in a country that was comfortable and safe enough to develop a prosperous market for hundreds of television channels mostly devoted to “reality” TV or home shopping.
I struggle with whether to shrug off that privilege or to use it for good, particularly in a world where “public servants” so often formulate the plans and policies that serve only themselves and other powerful people – they act as kurioi, not douloi. Can I use my privilege without abusing another? I can try. But the hard truth is that it is a lot easier for me to serve the “other” that I cannot see than the “other” right in front of me. So, in my work life, I succeed at urging and advocating for those like me to cross boundaries and create transformation, but do not ask my neighbor, who talks a lot and smokes and frequently smells like urine, how I can meet his needs.