I came across a wonderful discovery when I was reading one of my favorite Psalms recently – Psalm 8. Do you remember it? Here’s the first verse: “O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!”
The psalm makes me think of the incredible beauty I’ve seen in God’s creation through the years. My discovery came in verse four. Here are verses three through four: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?”
Do you see the word care in verse four? The Hebrew word in the original text means to visit someone to care for them. It’s kind of the picture of a country doctor doing a house call. Consider this meaning in light of Christmas. We could translate it, “Who are we that God would think of us and that he would visit us to care for us at our point of greatest need?”
Christmas is a marvel. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.”
I’ve always considered the “what is man?” part as being said with a little critical sneer. I imagined God saying, “In light of all the majestic creation, who does man think he is?” While the vastness of the cosmos does make us seem small, the context presents God with a different attitude: one of wonder. Imagine the question from a positive view, almost like a father looking at his new child: “What a boy!”
What is mankind? We must be a marvel because God thought us worth His coming. He visited us to care for us at our point of greatest need. What is our greatest need? We need a Savior. We needed someone to die for our sins and rise again, conquering the grave.
This is what we celebrate at Christmas! What is man indeed! We are valued. We are loved. For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son.