Micah 5: 1-14
Instinctively none of us want to be vulnerable, but now you’re asking us to practice it! The very good reason is because, unless we embrace our vulnerability we shall never fully know either the strength, or the love of God. Bethlehem was chosen, wait for it … for her vulnerability. Small, insignificant, overlooked, downtrodden, abandoned I suggest you read again the words, which surround verse 2 in today’s passage one of the most precious and beautiful prophecies speaking about Jesus’ birth.
‘God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong’ … ‘God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things’ 1 Corinthians 1:27-28.
Vulnerability is like death … best freely chosen (in the spiritual sense) before we have no choice. As Jesus says: ‘unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds’. John 12:24.
So where do you need to choose to embrace your vulnerability, in order to realise God’s strength is for you in that place? The likelihood is you’ll need to practice, again and again, embracing that which you instinctively recoil away from.
CS Lewis once wrote in The Four Loves: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
So where do you need to choose to embrace your vulnerability, in order to realise God’s love is for you in that place? My hunch is we’ll discover the answer later today, when faced with the choice: embrace my vulnerability, acknowledge my lack of perfection, or honest humanity to another, or pretend, put on the mask and present as a superficial follower of Jesus.
Have you ever prayed the full serenity prayer?
Prayer: Dear Lord, God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next. Amen.