A thought for Christmas day, when we celebrate one of the most shocking things God ever did, namely, invade our world to save us by becoming one of us. This is from the classic book by church father Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word:
Some may then ask, why did He not manifest Himself by means of other and nobler parts of creation [than a human], and use some nobler instrument, such as sun or moon or stars or fire or air, instead of mere man?
The answer is this. The Lord did not come to make a display. He came to heal and to teach suffering men.
For one who wanted to make a display the thing would have been just to appear and dazzle the beholders.
But for Him Who came to heal and to teach the way was not merely to dwell here, but to put Himself at the disposal of those who needed Him, and to be manifested according as they could bear it, not vitiating the value of the Divine appearing by exceeding their capacity to receive it.
Moreover, nothing in creation had erred from the path of God’s purpose for it, save only man. Sun, moon, heaven, stars, water, air, none of these had swerved from their order, but, knowing the Word as their Maker and their King, remained as they were made. Men alone having rejected what is good, have invented nothings instead of the truth, and have ascribed the honor due to God and the knowledge concerning Him to demons and men in the form of stones. Obviously the Divine goodness could not overlook so grave a matter as this.
But men could not recognize Him as ordering and ruling creation as a whole.
So what does He do? He takes to Himself for instrument a part of the whole, namely a human body, and enters into that.
Thus He ensured that men should recognize Him in the part who could not do so in the whole, and that those who could not lift their eyes to His unseen power might recognize and behold Him in the likeness of themselves. For, being men, they would naturally learn to know His Father more quickly and directly by means of a body that corresponded to their own and by the Divine works done through it; for by comparing His works with their own they would judge His to be not human, but Divine.