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Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Vulnerability of God

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:7-12 NIV).

There is an undeniable truth in this world and that is that all men are vulnerable. Man struggles inordinately to be invulnerable. We can struggle to attain great monetary security, for example, in an attempt to escape vulnerability. But alas, the world is full of forces (even our own limited perception and beyond that extending to great universal forces) that leave us vulnerable.

But there is a redeeming vulnerability and that is love. God loves us so much that he gave his only Son for us. And his Son walked the streets of Israel vulnerable to love as reflected in his ministry. Warning: the crucifixion of Jesus was directly the result of the pursuit of invulnerability in lockstep with Satan’s central lie—that we can become invulnerable.

Mankind does tremendously silly things sometimes to escape vulnerability. Unfortunately the silliness of it does not remove the frequent tragedy of it. What is the one thing that Hitler sought to avoid? – vulnerability!  His obsession with it brought us a sadly bizarre chapter in human history. And truth be told in our own country on an individual and national level we have done some silly things. On an individual level like Faust we sell our soul for wealth, power, and influence. On the national level like Nazism we seek to find sanctuary in mindless projections of power.

In contrast to these excruciatingly mad adventures stands the love of God. Love admits it’s vulnerability with the simplicity and purity of a trusting child. God looks with compassion upon mankind for he knows our frame and the perversions that the desire for invulnerability can bring. Our only reliable escape from madness is the vulnerability of love. This is so because love brings us closer to factual truth rather sealing us off from it. Sure we can and will create all sorts of structures to buttress security, but without love as their foundation all such structures will fail.

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