“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability....To be alive is to be vulnerable,” says Madeleine L’Engle. Jesus seems to agree.
During Lent we follow Jesus and journey into the wildness of the wilderness and find the power of vulnerability.next >
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.
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When I was a kid, my family only went camping once. I remember the experience well. It was dark, the ground was hard, it rained, and raccoons raided our campsite, shrieking all night long. Not one of us slept a wink that night, and that was the last time I went camping. The vulnerability that we experienced sent us fleeing indoors.
Every year on the first Sunday of Lent, the Church recounts the story of God’s Spirit pushing Jesus out into the wilderness for forty days of fasting before the start of his ministry. Jesus used this time to prepare for his ministry by accepting his vulnerability. We are called to follow his example.
Where do you find the wilderness? How do you find the courage to venture out into it?
Luke Fodornext >
Holy Spirit, push me out into the wilderness. Push me out of my comfort zone so that I can face the simplicity, beauty, and abundance present in the most desolate places — of the world and myself. Amen.next >
May God the creator empower you to see your vulnerability as your source of strength, prompting you to reach out to the vulnerable and marginalized in your life.
May God the servant cultivate abundant love in you, allowing you to display your truest and most vulnerable self.
May God the comforter give you enough peace for you to share your insecurities and vulnerabilities with the world.
Luke Fodor is the assistant rector of St. John’s Church in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, where he works with children, youth, and young families. He loves spending time outside with his two boys and wife outside at the beach, kayaking, hiking, or cycling.
Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Saviour