I came across one of those stunning and paradigm-shifting quotations from Luther, this one about how God–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–is always giving. Above all, God, in all of His persons, is always giving Himself.From Martin Luther, Confession Concerning Christ’ s Supper of 1528:
These are the three persons and one God, who has given himself to us all wholly and completely, with all that he is and has. The Father gives himself to us, with heaven and earth and all the creatures, in order that they may serve us and benefit us. But this gift has become obscured and useless through Adam’s fall. Therefore the Son himself subsequently gave himself and bestowed all his works, sufferings, wisdom, and righteousness, and reconciled us to the Father, in order that restored to life and righteousness, we might also know and have the Father and his gifts.But because this grace would benefit no one if it remained so profoundly hidden and could not come to us, the Holy Spirit comes and gives himself to us also, wholly and completely. He teaches us to understand this deed of Christ which has been manifested to us, helps us receive and preserve it, use it to our advantage and impart it to others, increase and extend it. He does this both inwardly and outwardly—inwardly by means of faith and other spiritual gifts, outwardly through the gospel, Baptism, and the sacrament of the altar, through which as through three means or methods he comes to us and inculcates the sufferings of Christ for the benefit of our salvation. (LW 37:366)
Isn’t this a different picture of God than we usually get? Yes, God is the object of glory, service, etc., but more profoundly, He descends to us and serves us.