This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. I love the Christmas story and all the wonderful memories and traditions that surround the Christmas season. I love singing the carols. I love being with family and friends. But Christmas is more than a season, it is more than the great memories we have and more than tradition. It is the marking each year of the belief we hold that the God of the universe became a part of His creation. This birth we celebrate is more than a great leader’s birth, more than the birth of a prophet or great teacher, what we say at Christmas is that this is the birth of the God/man Jesus Christ. This claim, incredible as it is, is validated not on Christmas, but Easter. It is because he rose from the dead that we can say He is God.
Several years ago, my wife and I received a Christmas card that had in it a poem suggesting the evidence about the life of Jesus really confirms that this life is incredibly extraordinary. That poem was entitled, “One Solitary Life.” It says:
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. 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 wide 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.
Dr James Allen Francis, © 1926
This great celebration is because that One Solitary Life is the life of the Son of God, our Savior who died and rose again for our sin. He gives us redemption and renews our lives. He gives us hope. I pray this season is a wonderful time for you of drawing closer to Him. Let me also share with you a wonderful Christmas carol. Go here.