By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
The fact that the infinite, omnipotent, eternal Son of God could become man and join himself to a human nature forever, so that infinite God became one person with finite man, will remain for eternity the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe.
~Wayne Grudem from Systematic Theology
The virgin birth has never been a major stumbling block in my struggle with Christianity; it’s far less mind-boggling than the Power of all Creation stooping so low as to become one of us.
~Madeleine L’Engle from A Stone for a Pillow
Most of us enjoy mysteries. We enjoy the suspense of trying to solve the puzzle, and consider all the options. But somehow this mystery causes some frustration and anger. Why is the ultimate answer not revealed, where is the ending? Why are we not shown the full narrative arc like a series of Star Wars movies that seem to capture our imaginations?
Yet this mystery of Godliness — the infinite becoming finite — is not for us to solve or reckon with. It is for us to marvel over, we are 100% mind-boggled and content to wait until the day the story is complete.
1 True God and yet a Man?
True maid and yet a mother?
Thought wonders how thought can
Conceive one or the other.
2 A God and can He die?
A dead Man, can He live?
What can thought well reply?
What reason reason give?
3 God, truth itself does teach;
Our thoughts sink too far under
For reason’s pow’r to reach.
Immortal, invisible, God only wise
In light, inaccessible, hid from our eyes
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient Of Days
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise
Unresting, unhasting and silent as light
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might
Thy justice like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love
To all life Thou givest, to both great and small
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree
And wither and perish but naught changeth Thee
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight
All praise we would render, o help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee
O Word of God incarnate, O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging, O Light of our dark sky:
We praise You for the radiance that from the hallowed page,
A Lantern to our footsteps, shines on from age to age.
The Church from You, our Savior, received the Gift divine,
And still that Light is lifted over all the earth to shine.
It is the sacred Vessel where gems of truth are stored;
It is the heaven drawn Picture of Christ, the living Word.
The Scripture is a banner before God’s host unfurled;
It is a shining Beacon above the darkling world.
It is the Chart and Compass that over life’s surging tide,
Mid mists and rocks and quicksands, to You, O Christ, will guide.
O make your Church, dear Savior, a lamp of purest gold,
To bear before the nations Your true light as of old.
O teach your wandering pilgrims by this their path to trace,
Till, clouds and darkness ended, they see You face to face.