It is December 24, 2012 and plenty of creatures are stirring in the house. Last minute preparations are underway to finish decorating the house as we begin to celebrate the reason for the season. On this Christmas eve as I reflect back on the last year, I know I have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful that I have a loving wife, a job that I love, wonderful friends and many, many blessings. But I am most thankful that on this night two thousand years ago, Christ was born and the world was changed forever.
Christmas brings back wonderful memories of my childhood. Growing up with my father, mother, and yes, even my sister, each and every Christmas was a special day. It has been many years since the four of us have been able to celebrate Christmas together. I am happy to know that my mother, father and sister will be spending this special celebration together this year.
While I warmly recall these memories, there is one memory that will forever be seared into my mind. I first heard of One Solitary Life when in New York City several years ago. We were there to watch the Rockettes and their Christmas Extravaganza at Radio City Music Hall. It was a wonderful show and we have seen it a second time since then. But it is the words of this essay that are most meaningful to me each Christmas. The essay was adapted from a sermon by Dr. James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” in 1926.
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village, the son of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village, where He worked in a carpenter’s shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He became a wandering preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He did none of those things that one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through a mockery of a trial. He was executed by the state. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property He had on earth. When He was dead He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life.
Faith and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our friends, near and far, the choicest of God’s blessings this Christmas and for 2013. We look forward to your continued friendship with joy and anticipation.