Thursday, December 16, 2021

           There is a poem or writing that I always enjoy this time of year.  Each Advent season, I return to the words of Dr. James Allan Francis who wrote “One Solitary Life.”  This poem is Dr. Francis’ tribute to the birth and life of Jesus.  It is well-worth our time to read and reflect upon.  You often find these words on a Christmas card or in an Advent devotional.  I invite you today to think upon the life of Christ as represented by this poem from Dr. Francis.  There are different versions of this poem in the public domain, and depending upon the one you access, some wording could differ or contrast among the various representations and retellings. Purportedly, this poem was originally written by Dr. Francis as part of a sermon.   His words are in bold and italicized...
           Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.  He grew up in an obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was
thirty, and then for three years he was an itinerant teacher.  He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never traveled, except in his infancy, more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompanies greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

            While he was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies. He
went through a mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth, his seamless robe. When he was dead, he was taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed grave through the courtesy of a friend.

           Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today he is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of all human progress. I am well within the mark
when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built,
all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together,
have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has this one
solitary life.

            Have a wonderful Thursday and may this solitary life of Christ bring joy and meaning to you each day!

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