Psalm 96.*Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence! Oh, the power and splendor of his sanctuary!
God has come to people in various guises—in a dream to Joseph, as fire and smoke to Moses, as a voice to Elijah, as a heavenly vision to Isaiah, as a tornado to Job.
But none of these proved adequate, as God was still perceived as distant. Could God really understand the uncertainties, fears, and tragedies of our lives? Could God truly love us?
We could not know for sure. So long as God merely disclosed power, beauty, and goodness from a distance—“in light inaccessible hid from our eyes” (Hymn 423)—we might admire or fear God, but we could never know that God loved us. And so God entered a new sanctuary, a habitation shared with us, constructed of achy joints and tired backs, sweaty armpits and bleeding wounds, subject to misunderstanding, jealousy, pain, and betrayal. It began in a manger and ended on a cross. At last, God is with us. At last, we know God loves us. (2001)
You did not assume human nature to conceal what was known of yourself, but to reveal what was not known. You declared yourself to be true God; by what you did you showed yourself to be true man.