Here's to Us: Five Lessons in Vulnerability
TO LOVE AT ALL is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken, says C.S. Lewis.
Brennan Manning’s publisher was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike when he saw the backseat door of a moving Lincoln Town car flung open.
A collie was thrown out of the car. It hit the concrete pavement and rolled into a ditch.
Despite the owner’s disregard for life, the bloodied and bruised dog got up and ran after the owner’s car—it must have been very confusing for the dog.
The determined love of Christ responds to us the same way—despite being thrown out from the backseats of our lives, it does not leave us to our demise.
God made his heart vulnerable to us when he sent His Son to the cross.
THE TIME OF JESUS was coming to an end, and he sent two of his disciples into the village to get his ride.
When they brought a donkey and colt to him, they put their cloaks on them for him to sit on. (Matthew 21)
As Jesus rode into the city, people put their cloaks on the road—others cut tree branches and spread them on his path. Some knew him, some didn’t.
The shouts of hosanna filled the air.
If he rode on a horse, many would call him a conquering king, but he chose a donkey. It was the ultimate expression of humility.
THE PEOPLE WERE ECSTATIC, many were shocked—some saw his humility as weakness. But he didn't deny his strength, he established it.
Philippians 2:5-8 say, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
When Jesus came to die, he did not think less of Himself, he felt more of me.
AT THE TABLE, Jesus reminded his disciples of his death and revealed the one to betray him. (Matthew 26:25)
Jesus did not hold things back from them. He shared the problematic parts of his story with those who deserved to hear it.
A Christian Gathering should be a place where we are vulnerable and feel safe. But when someone is met with flippant attitudes, as well as silence, it prevents openness and creates superficial relationships.
He did not think less of Himself, he felt more of me
Do not run from your emotions
AFTER THE LAST SUPPER, Jesus took his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane.
“Sit here while I go over there and pray,” he said. (Matthew 26:36) But he took Peter, James and John with him.
Jesus was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. His expression of sadness resonated with them.
“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
THERE CAN’T BE WISHES without hope—there can’t be bravery without vulnerability.
“Courageously facing life’s challenges does not mean being fearless; it means bearing vulnerability rather than fleeing from it,” says Stolorow.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was troubled.
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done,” he prayed. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. (Luke 22:42-43)
People are looking for those who are bold.
JESUS CAME TO FULFILL PROPHECY because his relationship with humanity meant so much to him.
He walked a difficult path—he knew the possibility will define our existence.
“For our sake he made him sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Today, humanity is reconciled to him.
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
THE HUMILITY OF JESUS did not appeal to some people, but it pleased the Father.
To achieve, he leaned into the discomfort of uncertainty. To love, he became vulnerable. And when he died, he thought more of you.
What have you done for Him lately?