“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” — The Gospel of John 1:1, 14

Athanasius wrote, “God became man so that man might become god” (On the Incarnation 54:3). It is only because of the mystery of the incarnation that humanity has any hope in participating in fellowship with the God who is Trinity. We know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because “the Word became flesh”.

That which makes God to be God is exactly what makes the Word to be the Word. The Word is in eternal fellowship with God because the Word shares the very nature of the Father and the Spirit. While we can never participate in the Trinity in the same manner as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we do have a means of participating in what the Apostle Peter called the “divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). This is because through the man, Jesus Christ, there is a place where Deity and humanity come together (1 Timothy 2:5). This is partially that to which the Apostle Paul referred when he wrote that we are “in Christ” over and over again in his epistles.

To be saved is more than to be “not guilty” before God. This is an important part of our story. It is not the only part. We must remember that although God does not judge us for who we have been as sinners neither does God let us remain there. God makes us what we as humans were intended. All our traditions recognize this. The Orthodox call it theosis. Many speak of being “sanctified”.

Advent is the celebration of the arrival of the Son of God amongst humans. It is the anticipation of his return to rule the world justly. We must not forget that it is equally a reminder that God has become one of us. If it were not for God becoming human in the face of Jesus Christ it would not be possible for us humans to become that which we were created to be from the beginning.