“…But the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary” (Psalm 96:5–6, NASB).
Through the incarnation of Christ, we see the pinnacle of the beauty of God. Augustine once said, “In the Trinity is the highest source of all things, and perfect beauty, and blessed delight.” During this Christmas season we remember that moment when He who is fully divine became fully human without sacrificing any of His divinity. He who made and sustains all things entered into His own creation as the paragon of the Beautiful One, as revealed in every aspect of His being.
Beauty unveiled through the Creator entering His creation defies complete understanding or explanation. As we read the accounts in the first chapter of both Genesis and John, something is revealed about God, man, and the plan of redemption that demands a response. In this Psalm we are reminded of the praiseworthiness of the One who made the heavens. He is more than merely beautiful; He is the source of all beauty!
Nowhere is this seen more clearly than when we consider the wonder, as Athanasius reminds us, that at the same time the babe lay in the manger, He was the One through whom that manger came to be, and who even then sustained its very existence! Indeed, as our Savior hung on that cross to make atonement for sin, He was sustaining the very nails that held Him there. John Calvin wrote about this Psalm that “we cannot be said to know God if we have not discovered that there is in him an incomparable glory and majesty.” We need only to turn our eyes to the wonder of the Incarnation and the mystery of the atonement to see that our Savior is not merely beautiful, He is the One from whom all that is beautiful and true finds its source. His name is Beauty!