Jesus Descended to Hell
What is your greatest fear? Usually, we go to phobias – which by definition are irrational. But what really keeps you up at night? Fear for your safety or the safety of your family? Wondering how to make ends meet? Insecurities about your job performance, or maybe your abilities as a friend, spouse, or parent?
I want to talk about power and weakness.
We spend a lot of our lives trying to minimize risk, to protect ourselves, to keep from being vulnerable.
We’re vulnerable. We don’t like to admit that. And we want to avoid that vulnerability. We want to protect ourselves and those we love.
But to be human is to risk. We’re not fully human unless we are vulnerable. If you teach your child to walk, they’re going to fall down. If you send them into the world, they’re going to get hurt. You COULD just never give them any power of their own – never teach them to walk or speak or feed themselves or educate them in any way. You could exercise full authority over them and keep them safe.
To take away their power like that is to keep them from being fully human. In fact, the only way to raise a child well is to give them power, which then opens them to risk. To deny someone power, to take away their God-given authority to act in the world is to deny their humanity.
We can’t exercise our God-given authority in the world unless we choose to be vulnerable as well.
Following God means choosing to risk, to open ourselves to God, to our neighbors, to the world. That’s scary, but God is bigger than our fears. Today is not about avoiding risk, but embracing risk and trusting that God is faithful to bring life when we are faithful to follow his calling on us.