All nations of this world, both civilized and barbarous, have a God of some kind, but their God is mostly a cold, hard, unloving force. The God of merely nominal Christians is no better than a stern magistrate, the author of a set of rules which they hate to keep. Our Lord states a general truth, attested both by the history and experience of mankind, when He says that no man can apprehend the nature of God by his intellect alone.
We are told as children that God made the worlds, and as adults we accept the statement because no other adequate cause for the daily marvels of the near earth and the distant universe can be found or suggested. But to accept God as Creator does not reveal Him to us as a Father. We can never know Him as Love, never understand His real nature and His feelings towards us, till we see Him taking our flesh upon Him, bearing our burdens, our sorrows, and our sins, living with us, dying for us, in the body called Christ Jesus. Only the Son can reveal Him.
Do you remember how, when you were little, your own father represented not only all power but all tenderness to you? If you were frightened, you sheltered in his arms; if you were hurt, you ran to him for sympathy; if you were lonely, he comforted you; and when your child’s heart felt a thrill of love and tenderness, it found a full return from him.
God loves us more than that. Multiply the tenderest father’s power of self-sacrificing love by infinity and that is how God loves. But how was He to make us know that unmeasured love and sympathy and every gracious quality which our hungry hearts demand?
Just as our fathers showed their love by stooping to our level, by becoming children with us, by incessant care and pains in all details of our need, so the Father of fathers has done for His children. He took our flesh, with its pain, hunger, temptation and weakness upon Him. He put himself into our possible circumstances—of poverty, homelessness, friendlessness; He came to the level of the outcast by law as well as by misfortune and ended His life with sorrow and suffering by the most horrible of deaths.
Love must always express itself by sacrifice. Whether it be the love of parent, lover or friend, sooner or later it meets and stands the test of sacrifice. The Lord high over all became a reproach of men, that we might understand His tender love for us.
Elizabeth Swift Brengle, Half Hours with My Guide