Relationships, vulnerability…. and Christmas

Maybe you have never thought about this. It’s the sort of thing we only notice when things go wrong. And even then, we may not think about it quite like this. We just feel the pain. But the simple fact is, that the closer you get in a relationship with another person, the more vulnerable you become.

You get close and then you start to tell that person things about yourself that you would never tell anyone else. You tell them your dreams. Your fears. Your loves. Perhaps they see things that no-one else sees. They see you in your darker moments, when you let down your guard. They see you truly relaxed. They see your inner doubts. They see you “warts and all”.

Of course, in a good relationship that is not a problem. In fact, that is one of the great things about a good close relationship. You know you can be yourself, and it doesn’t matter. In a film we watched recently, “Love, Rosie”, Alex is able to tell Rosie about the weird dreams that he has (like he dreamt he was the point of an arrow flying through the air!). It’s not a problem, because they have been close friends since they were 5, and Rosie knows all about his weird dreams and just sees it as a normal part of who Alex is. It’s when he shares those weird dreams with others that things don’t go so well. They think he is… well… just weird.

When it goes wrong, it hurts. We’ve been open and vulnerable with an individual we thought we could trust, but then it all falls apart. And now we feel exposed. Hurt. And then often, to make sure it doesn’t happen again, we go into self protect mode. Because I got burnt, I won’t be vulnerable again. In the words of Paul Simon “I’ve built walls, A fortress deep and mighty, that none may penetrate. I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.” He got burnt being vulnerable, and now the drawbridge is up.

And that’s sad. It makes you long for something better. It makes you wish that there could be a relationship where we are truly honest, open, exposed, but always safe. But did you know, that is exactly what Christmas is all about? Did you realise that Christmas is about God coming near to us in his Son Jesus? “Immanuel” Jesus is called. God with us.

Christmas is Jesus coming down to us. To offer a relationship. To offer a close relationship with our God – one where we can be completely vulnerable. Where we need not fear what will happen when God sees us as we really are. After all, he already DOES see us as we really are. Better even than we see ourselves.

That’s not to say that everything about us is good. In fact, far from it. But it is this: That Jesus came to heal and mend us – to clean us up of our moral failings. Nothing is too great a blemish. He can wash us clean of it all through his willing death for our sakes. So through Jesus, with God come near to us, there is no need to hide. No need to be an island, a rock. No need to pull up the drawbridge. But every reason to be vulnerable, and at the same time completely safe. Whatever we are and whatever we’ve done we are loved. Nothing you are or have done will frighten God away.

Why not find out more about Jesus and the totally safe relationship he offers us this Christmas?

Our Christmas service times are displayed on the right hand side of the home page – a great place to find out more about what Jesus came to do. We’d love to see you. And here is a short video, which makes a similar point. Enjoy.

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