“The Word was made flesh” so that the wisdom of God could come within the reach of human beings. For this Word – the expression of the whole truth about God – is far beyond our comprehension. No creature can ever fully understand his creator. But the Word, the Son of God, put on a humble, human form, so that infinite truth could be seen in finite terms.

He humbled himself, coming down to the lowest human level. Those who will join him there – denying themselves, taking the low place – will be raised up with him to the heights of heaven.

It is not easy for man to stoop so low, or to abandon his self-confidence. But when he sees the divine Son lying, as it were, at his feet, wrapped in the clothes of human poverty, then his heart may be moved and his pride cured. And when we grow weary of trying to prove ourselves, we may be ready to cast ourselves upon him.

When we do, he who came down to where we are raises us to where he is.

— St Augustine of Hippo (354-430), paraphrased by David Winter (1929—)