At Christmas we celebrate the coming of Jesus in human flesh. As an infant, he was at his most defenseless. Jesus entered an insecure situation, where his parents were poor and traveling in an unfamiliar land. He entered a fallen world—one where a powerful king was hunting for him to kill him. He had no resources or advocates or worldly power. He embodied human frailty in all its vulnerability.
Because of this, Jesus understands our vulnerability on an intimate level. He knows that even as we who are Christian leaders try to shepherd others, we have our own weaknesses and difficulties, our own wounds and temptations. He understands.
As we lead at Christmas and around the year, what if we were to lead from our own vulnerability? From our own wounded places? Because of what we have experienced in this fallen world, we are that much more able to understand, help, and shepherd others effectively. When we tap into our experiences and learn from them, we get it. We can be present with others in their suffering and vulnerability. God grant us the humility to serve in such a way.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). And ever since that night we see the sacred enshrouded in the lowly:
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. –Luke 2:11-12