So the Gospel story starts with God in heaven and ends with God in heaven. In the middle God becomes man, and everything changes.
We are told God doesn’t change, that he is the same eternally. I am not wise enough to argue that point. But I can see that God becoming a man changed everything about how we relate to God and it would seem how God relates to us.
You see God experienced life as we do. He was a baby, helpless, spitting up breast milk. He had to potty train and learn to walk and talk.
Then he had to awkwardly go through puberty and deal with hormones and emotions. He probably wondered if the pretty girls in the synagogue thought he was weird.
He dealt with fatigue, stress, being frustrated by his closest friends when they didn’t get him. He went through feeling all alone. He probably dealt with things like food poisoning, with all it’s glorious side effects. Yes, God with diarrhea and vomiting. Mary or Martha putting a wet cloth on his head and cleaning up after him.
Then he was betrayed, crucified because he couldn’t deny who he really was. He was abandoned by all, when a week earlier he had ridden into town to shouts of Hosanna!
Then the Gospel says he descended even further, to hades. He had to go to the deepest depths of our suffering, to experience the fullest extent of our pain.
So, maybe God doesn’t change, but it seems God chose to experience fullness of humanity and the depths of human suffering and pain for a reason. And the Gospel tells us there is good news for those of us suffering and in pain.
Because God in Christ suffered the depths of human suffering, and came out the other side to return home, we too can come out the other side and return home. That is the destination after all. To get back to where we started, but to get back reborn. A rebirth that only comes following the example of Christ, through suffering, pain, and death. But at the end we find ourselves home, reborn, truly free.