“Why are macros so important to Lisp programmers? Not merely for the syntactic convenience they provide, but because they are programs that manipulate programs, which has always been a central theme in the Lisp community. If FORTRAN is the language that pushes numbers around, and C is the language that pushes characters and pointers around, then Lisp is the language that pushes programs around.”
Gabriel & Steele, The Evolution of Lisp.
An old quote, but still thoroughly relevant. (Though today you’d probably pick something in place of Fortran, and add a note about Java being the language that pushes objects around.)