King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (17)

Gerard_van_Honthorst_-_King_David_Playing_the_Harp_-_Google_Art_Project

Gerard van Honthorst – King David Playing the Harp

God’s Promise to David (1)

We here turn from David the warrior to David the poet.  However, note well that in the following passage, in which God’s purposes for David and his house are made clear, it is God’s support of David the warrior that has opened the opportunity for David the poet to prosper.

2 Samuel 7:1-11a

After terrible struggle, terrors and heartache, David is now the King.

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”

King David feels a sense of guilt because his home is far more impressive than that provided for the ark of God.  Nathan’s reply is based on a general principle which appears to be certainly established by events.

But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

The Lord God corrects Nathan’s error.  Note that His point is that David’s intention is based upon his own thoughts rather than on God’s Word to him.

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you.

God is not here speaking in ephemeral metaphors.  The “cutting off” of David’s enemies including King Saul, opposing Israelites and foreign foes has occurred by bloody, deadly conflict.  David and his followers dealt out death and destruction by their own hands.  At some points God intervened to cause death.

Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

Far from finding fault in David, God begins to explain His purposes for David’s life and reign.  God intends to make David’s name “great, like the names of the greatest men on earth.”  That is, David and his reign as king over Israel will be known far into the future as a sign and symbol of God’s purposes through the Israelis.

Through the decisive victories in open warfare here on this fallen earth, God has created the space for Israel and its king to be planted with deep roots of religious, and cultural tradition.  For a time they will be free from oppression by the external forces of wickedness.

This is a precious gift.  In these ancient times peoples generally lived deep in the shadow of imminent death and destruction.  Thus, their time and energy was almost completely consumed by the requirements for physical survival.  Here God is allowing the nation of Israel rest from those terrible challenges.  Thus, space has been made for King David the poet to, by the Spirit’s leading, to create the Psalms that will guide and encourage God’s people throughout all succeeding history.

Decoding Progressivism (5)

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Projection is a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world. A common form of projection occurs when an individual, threatened by his own angry feelings, accuses another of harbouring hostile thoughts.

What should we call it when the individual in question appears to be perfectly comfortable with their “angry feelings?”  I think that current events create the need to define a more depraved stage of this psychological state.

Assassinate-Porn

Mother’s Day, 2017

Mother's-Love

I believe that motherhood at its most noble state creates a uniquely humane connection between living souls.  This link is a shadow of that eternal connection made through Christ between God the Father and His children.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (John 15:9)

Through this special bond, a mother can see beyond the flaws and frailty of her children into the wondrous value of their lives.

Under typical circumstances that insight is created because at the beginning a mother and child experience the utmost intimacy of a shared body.  There is simply nothing in life equivalent to the sight of a mother, who has lived for months in bodily communion with her child, holding her birthed baby for the first time.  The joy is beyond description.

However, in the case of adoption a mother can still establish that same wondrous bond with her child.

So, on this Mother’s Day, let’s acknowledge and honor that special part of God’s love that shines through our lives, as thankful and blessed children.

I Know that my Redeemer Lives!

Piero_della_Francesca_-_Resurrezione

The Resurrection – Piero della Francesca

Easter, 2017

I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever living Head.

He lives to bless me with His love,
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed,
He lives to help in time of need.

He lives triumphant from the grave,
He lives eternally to save,
He lives all glorious in the sky,
He lives exalted there on high.

He lives to grant me rich supply,
He lives to guide me with His eye,
He lives to comfort me when faint,
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears,
He lives to wipe away my tears
He lives to calm my troubled heart,
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise, heavenly Friend,
He lives and loves me to the end;
He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing;
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.

He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives, and I shall conquer death:
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives, all glory to His Name!
He lives, my Jesus, still the same.
Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives,
I know that my Redeemer lives!

What does the Bible Teach on Immigration and Refugee Policy (2)

bible-bordersThe Reverend Gradye Parsons’ Letter

I’ll begin the careful scrutiny of this issue by discussing the PC(USA) “Stated Clerk issues letter to Trump on refugees, immigrants” (dated October 2, 2015) that was introduced in my previous post.  The value is that a high officer is here explaining the denomination’s policy positions in an official capacity.  Thus, what is said, implied and unsaid is of great significance.  The Biblical interpretative, philosophical and communication strategies utilized are also important aspects of the analysis.  All text from the letter is included in order as quotes, with my commentary inserted as regular text.

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10022

Mr. Trump,

I am the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the denomination of the congregation in Queens, New York, where you were baptized. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) develops its policies through councils of teaching elders and ruling elders. At the national level it does that through the General Assembly. I would like to share with you the Presbyterian policies on refugees and immigrants.

There was a time in my living memory when such a preamble would have elicited an expectation of Christian profundity.  I detect a sense of chastisement here, as Rev. Parsons deigns to educate Mr. Trump on the refugee and immigration positions of his own denomination.  I must say that on this point we are in agreement.  However, whereas the issue at hand elicited this response, for me it began when Mr. Trump said “I’m Presbyterian.  Boy, that’s down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness.”

Presbyterians profess a faith in Christ, whose parents were forced to flee with him to Egypt when he was an infant to save him from King Herod. Knowing our Lord was once a refugee, faithful Presbyterians have been writing church policy urging the welcome of refugees and demanding higher annual admissions into the United States since the refugee crisis of World War II.

Here we find the one and only Biblical reference, summarizing Matthew 2:13-20.  What startles is the unexplained logical leap from our Lord’s specific experience to an apparently general application.  Does the fact that Jesus Christ was once a refugee mean that any and all who claim that status have been automatically bestowed with His sinlessness?  Is it possible in Rev. Parsons’ ideology for someone who claims refugee status to yet harbor evil intent?  And, if this is a realistic possibility, would a sovereign nation be obliged to welcome that person into their population?  Note that these real and pressing issues don’t even warrant acknowledgment let alone serious consideration in this authoritative statement of the PC(USA)’s positions.

Presbyterians have a mission presence in many refugee-sending countries, including Syria and Lebanon, where we have been present since 1823. Our relationship with people of faith and communities in these countries gives us knowledge of the root causes of the flight of refugees and further cements a commitment to welcome.

1983-beirut-bombing-by-hezbollah-iran-e1404967583363

1983 Hezbollah Bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut Lebanon

These two sentences manage to encompass the decadence and irresponsibility that defines our national denominational leadership.  Here we have mentioned two countries, one having experienced and the other currently embroiled in bloody, brutal civil war, held up as places from which blameless refugees are guaranteed to originate.  Who, I wonder, has been doing all of the killing in Syria resulting in almost 500,000 dead?  Weren’t upwards of 150,000 killed in the Lebanese Civil War (1975-90) by someone?  Isn’t Syria the home of ISIS and Lebanon of Hezbollah, both vicious, genocidal Islamic terrorist groups who target the United States?  Is it not possible that someone complicit in or directly responsible for this mass murder might seek to enter the United States as a refugee?

isis-san-bernardino-terrorists

2015 San Bernardino ISIS Terrorist Murderers

And yet, in the face of this absolutely obvious set of circumstances, the Rev. Parsons bestows blanket innocence upon all refugees from these troubled countries because of the PC(USA)’s supposed “knowledge.”  What can possibly account for the existence of this level of moral blindness?  The Rev. Parsons, speaking for the PC(USA) General Assembly, is more than happy to signal their supposed superior virtue while ignoring the real and present danger to their fellow citizens from uncontrolled entry of refugees.  That is, they will happily claim all of the virtue points for their “compassionate” stance on refugees but deny any culpability for associated crime and terrorism because “their intentions were good.”  This is not virtue, it is its opposite, and, it’s long past time that we ceased allowing our national leaders to have it both ways.

Presbyterians through decades of policy have demanded humane treatment of people of all nationalities and faiths who find themselves within our borders.

This sentence is a masterpiece of obfuscation.  On the surface it appears to be undeniable.  Yes, absolutely, we in the United States should treat all within our borders humanely.  And yet, what if someone finds “themselves within our borders” because they have entered illegally?  Is it inhumane to deny them social services, welfare, work?  Is it inhumane to deport them?  If they commit a felonious crime, is it still inhumane to deport them?  All of this is left unaddressed.  One has to dig a little to uncover the true position of the PC(USA).

We have challenged our government when it neglects to acknowledge the refugee status of those fleeing persecution.

Has the PC(USA) ever supported laws or policies that ensure careful vetting of refugees?  Unless information to the contrary can be presented, their position on vetting refugees from lawless, violent nations appears to be that it shouldn’t be done at all.

We have pushed for due process at the border and we continue to petition for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented persons.

I believe that “due process” likely means that a non-citizen of the United States should be given all of the Constitutional rights as has a citizen even when outside of the country.  Were this position to be accepted then the ability of the United States to control entry of non-citizens would be at the very least severely damaged.

As a Presbyterian I acknowledge my immigrant ancestors and my new immigrant sisters and brothers. I also respect that we came uninvited to a land already occupied by people. This creates a sense of humility about my citizenship that shapes my views on those who seek a place here.

This is an excellent example of the Jonathan Gruber school of political discourse: “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”  For, obscured behind all of the virtue signaling is effectively the demand for “open borders.”  Yes, the Rev. Parsons doesn’t explicitly say this.  However, since he admits guilt for his ancestors coming “uninvited to a land already occupied by people,” the most reasonable conclusion is that anyone who seeks “a place here” should be allowed in.  Of course to say so outright would create yet another reason for members to exit the denomination.  So, the position is only tacitly communicated.  However, I have little doubt that “open borders” is both what is meant and what is being pursued by the PC(USA) leadership.

I hope you will find this helpful. I especially hope it will inform you on your policies going forward.

In Christ,

The Reverend Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

It certainly was helpful, but not necessarily in the way intended.  This letter helps by exposing the unsupported logical leaps, lack of theological seriousness, irresponsible virtue signaling, disdain for the safety of our citizens, obfuscation and purposeful ambiguity of the PC(USA)’s national leadership.  Only a leadership clique hermetically sealed inside an alternative-reality ideology could be capable of generating, approving and releasing such a defective statement.

The Wages of Faux “Moral Authority”

As an aside to our discussion on the Progressive pyramid of moral authority, here are recent examples of how our faux “moral betters” in the Progressive movement use their presumed position to demean all who would dare to express a different point of view.

faux-pelosiNancy Pelosi

I’ll lead with comments by the highest elected Democratic official in the country, Nancy Pelosi, about her plans for outreach to those folks who aren’t completely onboard with the Progressive revolution.

Wow.  On the one hand some conservatives are celebrating about this type of thing, because it ensures eight years of Trump.  Personally, I’m deeply concerned that the highest elected Democratic official in the land has descended to this level of cruel lunacy.  Followers tend to look to their leaders for guidance.

faux-kershner
The Fourth Presbyterian Church (of Chicago)

Next, I recently came across a nice brochure from the Fourth Presbyterian Church (of Chicago) containing one of their November 13 sermons.  The sermon is by Abbi Heimach-Snipes (Pastoral Resident), By Our Endurance We Will Gain Our Souls. This person has plumbed the depths of Christian love in her exposition on Isaiah 12 and Luke 21:5-19.

I woke up Wednesday morning
Heavy, shaking, crying with despair
Not because one person didn’t win
But because one person did. A man with an air
       Of white supremacy
       Settlerism
       Patriarchy
       Homophobia
       Islamaphobia
       Ableism

I’m curious.  Just how does one disprove that they “have an air” of so many evil traits?  How would someone who voted for Mr. Trump defend themselves against the presumption that, they too, have this “air” about them?  And finally, just who are these irredeemable deplorables who voted this man into the Presidency over Hillary Clinton?
Where in the world did Abbi Heimach-Snipes get the idea that this was an acceptable thing to say from the pulpit?  Likely from Fourth’s senior pastor, Shannon J. Kershner, who, in an earlier sermon that day, while pretending to be even-handed, said this.
It is about the impact, the impact that very loud hate is being expressed in some extremely vivid ways since Tuesday night.
In particular, that hate is being expressed primarily by people who look like me or who love like me or who believe like me, expressed against those who do not fit those categories. Allow me to tell you a few stories of which I have firsthand knowledge.
She goes on to list (unverified) cruel statements and actions all by (unverified) people who supposedly supported Mr. Trump for President.  Only in passing did she mention the violence, hate and viciousness that regularly occurs on the Progressive Left.  This is the kind of intellectual fraud that is rampant in her circles.  The Rev. Kirshner went on to say this in her sermon.

If we, people who follow Jesus Christ regardless of our race or class or any of those demographic markers, if we choose to remain silent in the face of such racism, heterosexism, and xenophobia because it is easier that way or because we don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings or because these stories aren’t our stories or because it feels safer to keep each other at arm’s length or because we don’t like conflict or because we are afraid of being seen as partisan—if we, as a congregation and as disciples, do not speak out against the powers and principalities of hatred that have been given permission to be expressed and to flourish, then we are in danger of losing our witness to the crucified and risen Christ.

Yes, all of us irredeemable deplorables who don’t love the Progressive god are haters and worse.  You heard it from the Senior Pastor of the most rich and powerful church in the Presbytery of Chicago.  Now go out there and get in the faces of these sub-human irredeemable deplorables!
Were I a member of Fourth Presbyterian who has sympathy for why someone might not vote for four more years of Progressive governance, or worse, actually voted for Donald Trump, I would burrow deep underground and play dead.  And really, aren’t you, with regard to your moral standing, already dead to the likes of the Rev. Shannon J. Kirshner?
Finally, am I the only one who finds it deeply ironic that Rev. Kirshner says people who “believe like me” are on a hate-filled rampage?  Mirror, meet pastor.

Comment

What can possibly be said about the state of religious belief and practice in the Progressive ranks?  We are told (by our Progressive “betters”) that the Christian thing to do is to look away and pretend that all is well.  And yet, I can’t help but recall what the Westminster Confession says about the Ninth Commandment.  It says that we are bound to avoid [7.255]
… concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof* from ourselves, or complaint to others …
I didn’t vote for President Trump and am not planning to defend him unless he earns my trust.  However, it’s long past time that we non-Progressives stopped silently allowing the Progressive Left to assault our persons and positions.  No, I don’t mean to respond in kind (i.e., dishonest cruelty).  But rather to defend our theology, ideas and positions with solid information, firmness of purpose and respect for others.
I can already hear the shrieks of Progressive outrage from the previous paragraph’s last three words.  However, only in the warped Progressive moral bubble is criticizing others for claiming to be what their own words show that they aren’t the same thing as hurling cruel epithets at those with whom you disagree.  I have provided links to the primary sources on which my reproof* is made.  You are entitled to disagree, but I, and many others, will no longer accept these outrages in silence.

*reproof:
an expression of blame or disapproval.

The Progressive Pyramid of “Moral Authority” (4a)

1960s70sA Brief Comment

When I published my post on the 1960’s and 70’s ascension of domestic terrorists to the top of the “Moral Pyramid” I had no idea that the Progressive movement would, within days, provide such undeniable confirmation.  For, this week, President Obama:

on his way out the door, Tuesday commuted the effective life sentence of Puerto Rican nationalist-terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera — an architect of the wave of terror that led to the murder-by-bombing of four at Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan in 1975.

and Governor Cuomo (of New York, emphasis added):

last month gave an early out to one-time Weather Underground conspirator Judith Clark — convicted of murdering two cops and a security guard during the infamous Brinks armored-car robbery in Rockland County in 1981.

It appears that, although the holder to the pyramid’s peak position changes over time, having obtained that “coveted” position confers benefits from the Progressive movement in perpetuity.  Dare to look directly upon this and honestly consider its implications for the future of our nation.

The Progressive Pyramid of “Moral Authority” (3)

1950-topTop of the Pyramid in the 1950’s

In the 1950’s the United States experienced a major diplomatic disruption as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the U.S.S.R., also called the Soviet Union) transitioned from a trusted ally in World War Two to a dangerous adversary .  The demarcation line between these two relationships is often drawn at Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech delivered on March 5, 1946 at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri.

“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”

As the American public began to absorb this new information and appreciate its import, events occurred that raised the Soviet Union to the level of an existential threat.  On August 29, 1949, they successfully tested an atomic bomb. Thus event caused great shock in the United States because they were not expecting the Soviet Union to attain this technology so quickly.

As a result of these and other shocks, the American public became deeply concerned about the possibility that Communist agents of influence and spies were operating throughout the U.S. government.  An ambitious, irresponsible U.S. Senator, Joseph McCarthy, attempted to use these fears to advance his political career.  The Encyclopedia Britannica summarizes this sequence of events as follows.

After McCarthy’s reelection in 1952, he obtained the chairmanship of the Committee on Government Operations of the Senate and of its permanent subcommittee on investigations. For the next two years he was constantly in the spotlight, investigating various government departments and questioning innumerable witnesses about their suspected communist affiliations. Although he failed to make a plausible case against anyone, his colourful and cleverly presented accusations drove some persons out of their jobs and brought popular condemnation to others. The persecution of innocent persons on the charge of being communists and the forced conformity that the practice engendered in American public life came to be known as McCarthyism. Meanwhile, other government agencies did, with less fanfare, identify and prosecute cases of communist infiltration.

The last sentence of this paragraph is the starting point for the first holders of “presumed absolute moral authority,” by what we now call the Progressive Left.  Those raised to this ultimate level were none other than U.S. citizens who were successful prosecuted as agents of the Soviet Union, with Alger Hiss and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg as the most prominent members of this group.

Based on the fact that an irresponsible, corrupt politician (Joe McCarthy) made unfounded accusations of Communist activity, the Progressive Left chose the party line that all accusations of Communist activity were both false and unAmerican, calling it “McCartyhism.”

Based on this gross generalization, the Progressive Left proceeded to support the claims of innocence by anyone accused of treasonous support to the Soviet Union.  Thus began a multi-generation crusade to deny the guilt of individuals convicted of perjury and espionage.

For the case of Alger Hiss, CBS News published this attempt to vindicate Hiss in 2007.

An author who has researched the Cold War’s most famous espionage case said new evidence suggests another U.S. diplomat, not Alger Hiss, was the Soviet agent who fed U.S. secrets to Moscow.

With regard to the Rosenbergs, as recently as 2015 the Progressive Left was still trying to absolve Ethel of guilt (as even they had apparently given up on Julius).  As reported in the Wall Street Journal:

The media have rushed to the conclusion that this transcript proves the innocence of Ethel Rosenberg. The Guardian proclaimed that these words “could upend the notion that Ethel Rosenberg was guilty of espionage.” Politico explained that Greenglass’s statement “minimizes her role in the spying operations of her husband, Julius Rosenberg, furthering public incredulity about her actual guilt and subsequent execution.”

And yet, conclusive information of their guilt, obtained since well before the above attempts at exoneration was easily available.  With regard to Alger Hiss (although there are many sources, I’m using the CIA since they are currently upheld by the Progressive Left as an unimpeachable source of truth due to the Russian hacking situation).

Although no specific file on Hiss has been released from the KGB or GRU archives, enough material has been found in other files–in Moscow, Eastern Europe, and Washington–to enable historians to write several new works that leave almost no room for doubt about Hiss’s guilt.

With regard to the Rosenbergs, the LA Times (which is not a conservative newspaper) delivered the final bad news in 2008.

But, in fact, Schweikart is right, and Foner is wrong. The Rosenbergs were Soviet spies, and not minor ones either. Not only did they try their best to give the Soviets top atomic secrets from the Manhattan Project, they succeeded in handing over top military data on sonar and on radar that was used by the Russians to shoot down American planes in the Korean and Vietnam wars. That’s long been known, and Sobell confirmed it again last week.

The same LA Times article describes the Progressive Left’s relentless campaign to exonerate all accused of espionage for Communist governments and associated assault on the motives of any accusers.

With these latest events, the end has arrived for the legions of the American left wing that have argued relentlessly for more than half a century that the Rosenbergs were victims, framed by a hostile, fear-mongering U.S. government. Since the couple’s trial, the left has portrayed them as martyrs for civil liberties, righteous dissenters whose chief crime was to express their constitutionally protected political beliefs. In the end, the left has argued, the two communists were put to death not for spying but for their unpopular opinions, at a time when the Truman and Eisenhower administrations were seeking to stem opposition to their anti-Soviet foreign policy during the Cold War.

And this, dear reader, sums up the true character of the Progressive Left.  They are people who for generations, against increasingly overwhelming evidence to the contrary, gave aid and comfort to traitors who enthusiastically served the second-most genocidal regime in human history, the Communist Soviet Union, which posed an existential threat to the United States.  They have also purposefully besmirched the characters of any and all who have publicly argued the opposite position.

Yes, in the 1950’s, the Progressive Left raised Communist traitors to the pinnacle of the Pyramid of “Moral Authority.”  I will discuss the reasons for this appalling fact in due course.

Christmas – Celebrating the Incarnation

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins

Ephesians 2:1

jesus-baptism

Jesus Christ, the Incarnation – all God and all man – submits to be Baptized.

There we are, “dead in our sins.”  God could have left us there, receiving our just punishment.  But, He, out of a love and mercy beyond our ability to comprehend, rather:

Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:6-8

But even this beloved passage from Philippians doesn’t cover the entire depth of God’s humbling of Himself by the Incarnation to save us.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus

1 Timothy 2:5

It is not without cause, therefore, that Paul, when he would set forth Christ as the Mediator, distinctly declares him to be man. There is, says he, “one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Tim. 2: 5). He might have called him God, or at least, omitting to call him God he might also have omitted to call him man; but because the Spirit, speaking by his mouth, knew our infirmity, he opportunely provides for it by the most appropriate remedy, setting the Son of God familiarly before us as one of ourselves. That no one, therefore, may feel perplexed where to seek the Mediator, or by what means to reach him, the Spirit, by calling him man, reminds us that he is near, nay, contiguous to us, inasmuch as he is our flesh. And, indeed, he intimates the same thing in another place, where he explains at greater length that he is not a high priest who “cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” (Heb. 4: 15).

John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion II.12.1

How to conceive of such a marvelous act of grace?

We see that our salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ (Acts 4: 12). We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is “of Him” (1 Cor. 1:30). …. If we seek strength it lies in His dominion; if purity, in His conception; if gentleness, it appears in His birth. For by His birth He was made like us in all respects (Heb. 2:17) that He might learn to feel our pain (cf. Heb. 5:2) … in short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in Him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.

John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion II.16.19

Rejoice and be glad, for God is with us!