“O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature.” In the opening line of this Collect, we learn who God is, the one who created and restored the dignity of human nature, and who we are, the ones so created and restored. To know God is an apt form of self-knowledge. To know and love God is to have the right sense of one’s dignity and a corresponding self-love.
Christ was born into the world, a world intent upon destroying his life from the beginning (Matt. 2:16). Divinely protected, he grew in stature and grace. At only 12 years old, he sat among teachers in the temple, listening and asking questions. At this young age and before and forever, he was “in my Father’s house” (Luke 2:49). Indeed, Jesus lives “in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18). The Father is the house, heart, and breast where the Son lives. “The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands” (John 3:25).
The Son, though in possession of all that the Father is, humbled himself, became what we are so that we might become what he is. Thus, the dignity and fullness of the Son are shared with all members of the Church. “All who receive him, who believe in his name, he has given power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12,13). “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
We have been blessed, in Christ, by all that the Father gives to the Son, which is an inexhaustible treasure. The gifts of grace and adoption and fullness are rooted in God’s eternal and inscrutable will. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph. 1:3-4). It bears repeating that we have “every spiritual blessing” and that “we have been chosen in Christ” and this election occurred “before the foundation of the world.” In Christ, God has called and enriched the elect beyond all imagining. We will never, therefore, fully know “his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6).
Because our spiritual blessings are inexhaustible, there is always something to discover, and prayer is one means of doing so. “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power” (Eph. 1:17-18).
Christ, we know, has assumed our human nature. So, he has taken into himself the fullness of human history and experience, transforming it, moment by moment, into the image of a New Humanity. He gathers people from the farthest places, the blind and lame, those with child and those in labor, a great mass of humanity who weep and yet feel consolation. He refreshes with brooks of water, grain, wine, and oil. He calls for music and dancing, joy and comfort, and gladness (Jer. 31:8-14).
Feel and know your worth and beauty in the New Being.
Look It Up: Eph. 1:3
Think About It: Every spiritual blessing.