The Joy That We Are Human
The one point on which I most profoundly disagree with the Karl Barthians is that of “natural theology.” Our very creation itself is a beginning of revelation. Making us in His image, God reveals Himself to us, we are already words to ourselves! Our very creation itself is a vocation to union with Him and, if we persist in honesty and simplicity, our life and the world around us cannot help speaking of Him and of our calling.
The joy that I am man! This fact, that I am a man, is a theological truth and mystery. God became man in Christ. In the becoming of what I am, He united me to Himself and made me His epiphany, so that now I am meant to reveal Him, and my very existence as true man depends on this, that by my freedom I obey His light, thus enabling Him to reveal Himself in me. And the first to see this revelation is my own self. I am His mission to myself and through myself to all men. How can I see Him or receive Him if I despise or fear what I am—man? How can I love what I am—man—if I hate man in others?
The mere fact of my manness should be an everlasting joy and delight. To take joy in that which I am made to be by my Creator is to open my heart to restoration by my Redeemer. And it is to taste the firstfruits of redemption and restoration. So pure is the joy of being man that those whose Christian understanding is weak may even take this to be the joy of being something other than man—an angel or something. But God did not become an angel. He became man.
August 12 and 13, 1965, V.279-80