Meditation Monday – Waiting for A Vulnerable God

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

Several years ago I created an Advent garden with five words for me to meditate on during Advent. One of those words was vulnerable and it came to me again as I sat meditating this morning.

When I wrote it my thoughts centred on Mary’s vulnerability – powerless and open to attack in a world that did not look favourably on unwed mothers. I thought too of the Mary-like people in our world today who are also vulnerable because of their powerlessness – those caught in the grip of poverty, abuse, racial & sexual discrimination, refugees, the disabled, those caught in the horrors of war. The list of the victims of powerlessness is so long it is overwhelming. And to that I add the vulnerability of our planet – 1 million species that might become extinct in the near future, the hottest year on record, a fire season that now in some parts of the world is 12 months long.

This too is overwhelming, but that I realize is what vulnerability is all about – feeling powerless in the face of power and wealth.  And that is how many of us feel today. We are all feeling vulnerable as we face the uncertainties of the future and it’s a hard place to be in.

What makes you feel vulnerable and uncertain at the moment? How do you respond to that vulnerability?

As I reflected on this over the last few days I realized that God too is vulnerable. Our Creator always comes to us in  ways that open the possibility of attack, abuse, and woundedness. In fact that is very much the story of God revealed in Jesus Christ. An unexpected and vulnerable Messiah revealing an unexpected and vulnerable God. Why I wonder did the immense and magnificent Creator of the universe decide to be manifested in a child born at the margins of the empire, vulnerable not just to the usual scourges of diseases and poverty, but also to the possibility of death, even in his conception because his mother was unwed.

Is God Really a Rich and Powerful Leader?

My images of God as a rich and powerful leader was dismantled over the last few years by these images of the One who comes to us in powerlessness and vulnerability – not as a ruler but as a servant, not as an authoritarian commander but as a gentle leader, a companion and guide who is particularly concerned about the other vulnerable ones in our midst and who brings change not from the centres of power but from the margins where other vulnerable beings dwell.

I think of that as I contemplate the image above, a canvas print of which sits on my desk throughout the Advent season. It was given to me by my good friend Tom Balke who photographed it on a visit to the Taize community several years ago. It speaks to me of the vulnerability and well as the hope of both Mary and Elizabeth as they excitedly meet and share the joy of their respective pregnancies.

It is hard for us to understand a powerful God who comes in such vulnerability, yet in this God we place our hope. This is the God whose presence will one day fill our world bringing renewal and transformation.

I Wait For A Vulnerable God

As I wait during this season of Advent, I wait for this vulnerable God and I feel hope well up within me. Its important, I believe to live with a vision of hope, a vision of God’s better future in which all things are made new Without a vision like this we will never strive to see our world changed and that is very much the vision that fills my heart as I look towards Advent and Christmas this year.

Today I wait,
My heart longing, yearning, aching
For the fulfillment of God’s promises.
I wait
in hope, in expectation,
Trusting that which is not yet visible.
I will not despise the vulnerability,
Of God and God’s beloved son,
By refusing to believe,
God’s desire is to see all things made new.
I will not deny the wonder of a God,
Who created all things in goodness and delight,
And saw them worthy to be restored and made whole.
I wait,
For in Christ God’s circle is complete.
What began in creation,
Finds its fulfillment in him.
I will not give up hope of the promise
For peace and justice and flourishing
Hidden in a vulnerable child,
Born in a manger.
Love will prevail.
God’s light will shine
All will be made new.

Where do you see signs of our vulnerable God?

What signs of God’s presence give you hope for the future? 



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