I came across this story many years ago, and only recently did I recall the story because of what I was reading, preparing for Christmas this year. I don’t know the author; in fact, there may have been many hands that helped shape this story:
History tells us that early in the 19th century the whole world was watching with bated breath the campaigns of Napoleon. There was talk everywhere of marches, invasions, battles, and bloodshed as the French dictator pushed his way through Europe. Babies were born during that time. But who had time to think about babies or to care about cradles and nurseries when the international scene was as tumultuous as it was? Nevertheless, between Trafalgar and Waterloo, there stole into this world a bona fide list of heroes whose lives were destined to shape the history of humanity. But again I ask, who had time to think about babies while Napoleon was on the move?
Well, someone should have.
Let’s take the year 1809. Internationally, everyone was looking at Austria, because that was where blood was flowing freely. In one campaign after another that year, Napoleon was sweeping through Austria. Nobody cared about babies in 1809 . . . But when you check the record, you realize the world was overlooking some terribly significant births.
Take, for example, William Gladstone, born in 1809. Gladstone was destined to become one of the finest statesmen that England ever produced. In that same year Alfred Tennyson was born to an obscure minister and his wife. Tennyson would one day greatly affect the literary world in a remarkable manner. Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1809. And not far away in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe began his eventful, albeit tragic, life. It was also in that same year – 1809 – that a physician named Darwin and his wife named their child Charles. And it was on that same day the Darwin infant was born that the cries of a newborn could be heard from a rugged log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. The baby’s name? Abraham Lincoln.
If there had been news broadcasts at that time, I’m certain these words would have been heard: “The destiny of the world is being shaped on an Austrian battlefield today.”
Or was it?
Looking back, you and I realize that history was actually being shaped in the cradles of England and America as young mothers held in their arms the shakers and the movers of the future. No one could deny that 1809 was, in fact, the genesis of an era.
The same could be said of the time when Jesus of Nazareth was born. People throughout the entire Roman Empire could’ve cared less about the birth of that Jewish infant in Bethlehem. Rome ruled the world. Caesar was supreme king over the world! That’s where history was being made!
Or was it?
Dare we forget the writings of the historian Luke, who recorded for us: “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first census and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem... He went to be registered with Mary... While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger.”
The real world-changer came in the same unexceptional way as many who followed Him. But let us not forget the immense miracle we celebrate at Christmas: God took on the cloth with which He had covered us, made strong with the same bones and organs inside that allow us to breathe, to contemplate, to experience emotions – in order to reveal Himself – His character and desires to us all! God has lived among us! And with faith that Jesus is the Father’s Savior from sin and death, He lives within us as well! Glory to God in the highest!
11/5/2022 04:06:21 am
Heavy data speech art this.
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