It is rare that anyone aspires to be vulnerable. Success is measured by our abilities to command attention and always be in control. Anything less is considered weak and undesirable.
I’m reading Andy Crouch’s new book, Strong and Weak and he says that there is a paradox in life: flourishing comes from being both strong and weak.
In this time of Eastertide and then Pentecost, I’ve reflected on the hopes, dreams and demeanor of the disciples. They had spent three years with the greatest teacher of all time. They had come to revere him, but also to love Jesus. Their lives had been forever changed and they never wanted to go back.
The disciples wanted Jesus to emerge as an all-powerful King to relieve them from their bondage and oppression and to restore the goodness of the garden of Eden. Instead, Jesus was ridiculed and put to death. In their sorrow and fear, evil overwhelms the disciples and they deny that they ever knew him.
They experienced the vulnerability of loving someone who is then taken away.
After 3 days, He begins making appearances, sometimes to a few, but often to many. The news spreads that indeed, He has risen. The disciples have hope, but then also the dread of vulnerability that their love will be taken away again.
Jesus ascends, going away once again, but in sending the Holy Spirit, the disciples recognize the power and authority they have to proclaim the Good News. Peter first addresses the crowd of three thousand telling them of the promise made for them, for their children and “for all who are far away”. Peter exhorts them to “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”. Three thousand become believers that day.
We learn in Acts 2:43: “Awe came to everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.”
Before the disciples could have power, they had to experience vulnerability.
Blessings, my friend,