One Solitary

Dear Friends,

Okay, so, I know I have shared this little bit of poetry with you before, possibly every year since I've been here, and always around this time of year. But this piece, written years ago, and often attributed to "Anonymous," but actually written by a man by the name of James Allen Francis, seems to pop up online, or simply in my thinking, and move me every time it does so, as we come into this Holy Week. So, here it is again:

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. 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 home. He didn't go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. 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 he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that 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 human beings on this earth as that one, solitary life.

I pray that the remainder of this week ahead (remember our services on Maundy Thursday at 6:30 and Good Friday at 7), with all its lows and highs, will be meaningful and even life-changing, as it is centered on this one, solitary life.

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane