For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

(Psalm 103:14, NIV)


In a world in which most religions and philosophies elevate the ethereal over the physical, our Lord gave physicality its ultimate “dignifier”: He enrobed Himself in it. Indeed, the Incarnation and Jesus’s death followed by resurrection and ascension—these all dignify matter. The God in whom all things were created clothed himself in His creation. Shrinking down to embryo size, He inhabited a virgin’s womb. His favorite preposition seems to be with, with, with, as He came to be with us.

Some of the best lines in our Christmas carols express this reality:

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity…

Lo, He abhors not the Virgin’s womb…

Very God, begotten, not created…

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing…

O come to us, abide with us, our Lord—Immanuel.

All praise to thee, eternal Lord, clothed in a garb of flesh and blood

      choosing a manger for thy throne, while worlds on worlds are thine alone.

Flesh. Blood. Incarnation. Immanuel. With us.

The Son of God’s enfleshment, Jesus’s humanity, reminds us that God did not stop at sending messages on stone tablets or emissaries like Isaiah. He came Himself. And one ramification of His becoming human is that He understands our griefs. As I write this, one widow I love mourns the loss of her husband and another fears she will also lose her child. But because of Christmas, at the table of the grieving, by the bedside of the widow with a sick loved one, and for all of us torn apart by the effects of sin…we are not alone. God is with us. He knows how we are formed. He even took on that form Himself, our dustling Deity. Let us therefore come boldly to His throne of grace to receive mercy as we wonder, marvel, and fall on our knees.