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This is the second in a series of daily reflections during the season of Advent.   See Advent Reflections for background.

Today’s reading  from Matthew (Matthew 8:5-13) tells the story of a powerful Roman soldier who finds himself powerless to help his dying servant.  His only hope is in the healing teacher known as Jesus of Nazareth.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The soldier makes himself absolutely vulnerable by begging this peasant rabbi to help him; declaring himself unworthy to receive this holy man into his house. The centurion demonstrates his faith in Jesus’s authority. He asks Jesus to just say the word and his servant will be healed.  jesus says “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.”  Matthew write ‘And the servant was healed within that hour’.    So it is a story of power and authority, humility or vulnerability and faith

Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  In line Traditional charge.

RCMP In line for Traditional charge.

These images of the RCMP in traditional uniform and preparing for the traditional charge – are a symbol of the centurion’s power.  But this kind of power cannot heal.

Vulnerability - this frog is completely vulnerable

Vulnerability – this tiny frog is completely vulnerable

We found  this tiny frog on the beach at Hillside Beach, Manitoba.  It’s a symbol of vulnerability.  The frog could have jumped out of my daughter’s hand – but chose to stay in this vulnerable place.  Perhaps sensing it was in safe hands?  The first step towards healing is to acknowledge our vulnerability.  It is not weakness to become vulnerable to others or to God.

White Admiral - the butterfly is always a sign of faith for me.

White Admiral – the butterfly is always a sign of faith for me.

We have butterflies like this in Manitoba, but this one was waiting for us on the balcony wall in Puerto Vallarta when we arrived.  Butterflies strengthen my faith.  Their tenacity in surviving the stages of their lives – their struggle to emerge from the metamorphosis stage that took place in the chrysalis is awesome.

In the story of the birth of the Prince of Peace we see the power of Almighty God, coming among us, vulnerable and humble, as the Christ child. We witness the faith of Mary and Joseph in accepting what was beyond their understanding.

Let’s make ourselves vulnerable this Advent as we open our hearts to self-examination, trusting in the power and compassion of the Prince of Peace to make us whole.

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