Few things really affect history, sure there are some days that should live on in infamy. The American Revolution, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor and 9-11, all stand out for our nation. The invention of printing and the semi-conductor have both changed history. -Sadly, as time marches on, history seems to be changed as it is filtered through the lens of contemporary thought.
Still, there's one person who has changed the course of human history more than any other -- his name -- Jesus. For a Christian, like myself, I believe he existed before time began, but was manifest in the form of a man around the first century. This time of year we celebrate his birth with a holiday that bears his name -- Christ -- mas.-
In 1926 Dr. James Allan Francis wrote some amazing thoughts about Jesus, to paraphrase him:
"He was born to working class people more than two thousand years ago in an obscure village. He never went to college, never wrote a book or a song. He never held public office, had a family or owned a home. He only preached for about three years and never traveled far from his birthplace."
Although he never did the things that usually accompany greatness, throngs of people followed him. When the religious world turned against him, he was given to his enemies and sentenced to death. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his only possession - a simple coat. His body was laid in a borrowed grave but three days later he arose from the dead - living proof that he was, as he had claimed, the Savior.
Centuries have come and gone and today Jesus Christ is the central figure of the human history. Our calendars mark his birth and even those who do not believe in him, wrestle with who he was. -
This one solitary life has become the theme for more songs, books, poems and paintings than any other person or event in history. Thousands of colleges, hospitals, orphanages and other institutions have been founded in his honor. No event, no invention and no person has formed human history more than Jesus Christ. -
As we approach Christmas, take some time to consider this one solitary life, take time to investigate what the Bible says about Jesus. Isaiah the prophet spoke more than 700 years before Jesus came and told us about the child of Christmas. --
Isaiah 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Titles that remind us why Jesus changed history. "Wonderful," his deeds were full of compassion as he taught us love. - "Counselor," the spirit of wise counsel was upon him. "Mighty God and everlasting father," the fullness of the Godhead manifest in the person of Christ. "Prince of peace," his birth was announced by angels saying "Peace on earth" and he taught peace saying, "turn the other cheek, love your enemies and forgive like God forgives you."
Yes, Jesus Christ has changed history, but has he changed you? -In a world gone nuts, stability, sanity and salvation is still found in this central figure of history.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.