Monday, March 9, 2015

Bearing with One Another - 7. Free to be Vulnerable in Love

At the foot of the cross there is freedom.

At the foot of the cross we are free
          because we hear Jesus say,
                   “Father, forgive them,
                             they don’t know what they are doing.”
At the foot of the cross, we are free
to know ourselves to be truly seen
          and understood
by God in the person of Jesus

At the foot of cross we are free
to know ourselves to be frail and fallible.

At the foot of the cross we are free
to know that we are guilty –
our fingerprints are on the hammer and nails,
We are complicit in the sinful, broken mess of a world
          where we nail one another to the cross.
We are the reason Jesus hung on the cross.

At the foot of the cross, we are free
to know ourselves to be forgiven;
we know ourselves to be loved with infinite love.

At the foot of the cross we are free –
          set free from guilt, shame, and fear

At the foot of the cross we are free
          to commend our spirits into the hands of God
                   assured that God will not let go.

At the foot of the cross we are free
to love as Jesus loved us,
to love with vulnerable, self-sacrificial abandon.

At the foot of the cross we are free
          to forgive as we have been forgiven.

I encourage you to watch this video by Brene Brown who is a member of Christ Church Cathedral in Houston:

 Here are a couple of quotes about vulnerability and love:

“To read the biblical narratives is to encounter a God who is, first of all, love (1 John 4:8). Love involves a willingness to put oneself at risk, and God is in fact vulnerable in love, vulnerable even to great suffering. God’s self-revelation is Jesus Christ, and, as readers encounter him in the biblical stories, he wanders with nowhere to place his head, washes the feet of his disciples like a servant, and suffers and dies on a cross–condemned by the authorities of his time, undergoing great pain, “despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity” (Isaiah 53:3). Just this Jesus is the human face of God, not merely a messenger or a prophet but God’s own self come as self-revelation to humankind. If God becomes human in just this way, moreover, then that tells us something of how we might seek our own fullest humanity–not in quests of power and wealth and fame but in service, solidarity with the despised and rejected, and willingness to be vulnerable in love.”
― William Placher, Narratives of a VulnerableGod

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to 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. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

The freedom to be vulnerable in love is key to any relationship and any community. It is key to our being able to bear with one another when we disagree. Jesus sets us free for that kind of love.

We are freed to be less certain, less defensive; freed to be more open, more vulnerable. We are freed to speak the truth about ourselves and then about one another in love.

Jesus then said to those who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
(John 8:31-32, 36)


Bearing with One Another When We Disagree

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