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One Solitary Life
In 1926, James Francis wrote a short essay that captured the true meaning of Christmas. Here is an edited version …
A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man, the tide of popular feeling turns against him. One friend denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed to a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend.
Those are the facts of his human life.
But when we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely minuscule in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life.