Child: Where does God live?
Ancient Man: On the highest peak of the holy mountain, shrouded in cloud and fire, distant and thunderous. The path there is treacherous for the living.
Medieval Man: Child, God does not live on this mountain or that, but in the highest heaven – the unmoved and outermost sphere within which all other spheres, sun and moon, planets and stars, move and derive their being. The path there is impossible for the living. It is found only in death.
Modern Man: Children, all that is cannot be contained in any number of spheres. There are more galaxies than we can count, more universes than we ever thought possible, more complexity to light and space and matter than we have yet comprehended. There is no God, because there is no place for him to live. That which exists is too big. The path to him does not exist.
Child: When I was little, I made a sand castle at the beach – big, with walls and towers. I was bigger than my castle but I loved it and sat inside to watch the waves come. When I grew a little, I made a tree house – tall and strong. I knew every nail and board and loved it. I sat inside and listened to the wind in the leaves. When I grow up and become an architect, I will build the tallest, most beautiful building, but I think I will still be bigger than my building – I will know every room and every window, the view from every angle, and I will be different than my building because I made it and can go in and out when I like. I will make the path to it beautiful and will walk it myself. If the universe is so big and complex, how do you know it’s too big for God? Wouldn’t God just be much bigger than you thought?
Modern Man: But what of this tiny speck in the cosmos? And what of the path?
Child: Couldn’t so big a God, who makes so big a house, come and go as he likes? And couldn’t he love one spot inside it more than any other? A builder can choose a spot and make a path. The bigger mystery is the path: a child. Emmanuel. God with us.