Christianity teaches a lot of amazing things: that God is triune, that God the Son became man, that our salvation was accomplished by a great exchange of Christ taking our place, to name just a few. One of the most amazing things is that God wholly gives Himself, to the Church, and to each individual believer. As it says in Psalm 63:1, O God, You are my God.
Explaining this verse, Henry P. Liddon said:
The word represents not a human impression, or desire, or conceit, but an aspect, a truth, a necessity of the divine nature. Man can, indeed, give himself by halves; he can bestow a little of his thought, of his heart, of his endeavour upon his brother man. In other words, man can be imperfect in his acts as he is imperfect and finite in his nature. But when God, the Perfect Being, loves the creature of his hand, he cannot thus divide his love. He must perforce love with the whole directness and strength and intensity of his Being; for He is God, and therefore incapable of partial and imperfect action. He must give Himself to the single soul with as absolute a completeness as if there were no other being besides it, and, on his side, man knows that this gift of himself by God is thus entire; and in no narrow spirit of ambitious egotism, but as grasping and representing the literal fact, he cries “My God.” Therefore we find St. Paul writing to the Galatians as if his own single soul had been redeemed by the sacrifice of Calvary: “He loved me, and gave himself for me.
Because God is simple, not made up of different ingredients or parts, when He gives Himself, it must be the whole of Himself. Because God cannot be divided, when He makes Himself ours, He makes Himself undividedly ours.
This is not a new idea. Many years ago in his famous Confessions, Augustine of Hippo said the same thing: “O Thou Good omnipotent, who so carest for everyone of us, as if Thou caredst for him only; and so for all, as if they were but one!”
When we remember that God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, this gift of being our God can overshadow a lot of the other things we care about.
Rev. Ruben Zartman has been the pastor at Ebenezer Reformed Church in Shafter since 2017.