Thursday, May 2, 2013

One Solitary Life by James Allan Francis

The other day, I came across the poem, One Solitary Life, by James Allan Francis. It is a poem on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, which was written in 1926. I have read it before, as I am sure most of you have as well. As I read it, I was struck by the utter humiliation that Jesus undertook in coming to this earth. Isaiah told us that he would have no form or majesty that would move people to desire him (53:2). Unfortunately, I am fairly sure, this is not what our culture (including Christians) would consider a great leader in our day. But it is our Savior, Leader, and God.

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty

He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied him
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 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 Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that have ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life

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