And yet the words perhaps ought to sound different in Advent. In the early church, one of the questions that skeptics asked about Christianity was whether it was fitting for God to become human. The transcendent God, so the objection ran, would not (should not) have become so intimately involved in the messy, material world of human bodies and emotions. To be born, to experience human need, to die--all these were thought somehow beneath God. But theologians in the first centuries of Christianity were emphatic: that is exactly what God did, without sacrificing transcendence or dignity. On the contrary, by taking flesh and dwelling among us the Word made possible our participation in the divine life. Our worthiness or unworthiness is not the point: in Advent we look forward to receiving Christ, knowing that as we receive Christ, God receives us.