One Solitary Life

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still 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 house. He didn’t go to college.

He never visited a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things 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 the mockery of a trial.

He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. 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.

Nineteen 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.

This passage was part of the living nativity at the end of the Rockettes/Radio City Christmas Spectacular we went to last weekend. I didn’t expect the Rockettes’ Christmas show to have any religious elements much less one that was so moving. The combination of the nativity with live animals and this passage was beautiful and a great way to end the Christmas season.

Note: I did a little research and found that this passage was written by James Allan Francis as part of a sermon he gave in 1926. It was published in Francis’ book, “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons,” in 1926. I also found this interesting discussion about the existence and creation of different versions and the story, at times, being attributed as author unknown.

My mom got me the Willow Tree natvity set pictured at the top for my birthday and I love it! Thanks mom!


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