One solitary life (a message delivered at Radio City Music Hall)

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While at church recently, I heard in the pastors message a reference to something he watched during at “The Christmas Spectacular” Radio City Music Hall several years ago.

I went online when I got home and saw another reference made to the exact same thing.  After a thrilling show from the dancers, the following short essay was scrolled across a giant screen at the close of the show, right after the live nativity scene:

“Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself… While 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 the 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 coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever 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 that one solitary life.”

The essay was adapted from a sermon 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!”).

Maybe this Easter season you might want to read again through this short essay and spend some time reflecting on the significance of this Easter celebration.   Was it just a moment in history unrelated to today, or could it be a sequence of historical events that forever changed the course of each and every person that has ever, and will ever walk on this planet. That’s a pretty big choice to consider.

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