25 Christmas – Midnight (19:00 and 24:00)
Original essay by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”).
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book, He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a home.
He didn’t go to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born.
He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He has no credentials but Himself.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him.
His friends ran away.
One of them denied Him.
He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His garments, 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. 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.
This Christmas night when we are celebrating the birth of this extraordinary person I ask myself only one question:
Has His life affected ALSO my life?
Otherwise what am I doing here?