This post has been republished due to a technical issue preventing some followers from seeing the initial publication…. So I guess the pressure to write this week has been taken off!
Years ago we had a cardboard plaque that had the words of this poem on it. I think when we downsized I might have let it go? I recently printed it out for a study group, and then another group. I had to search for it online. Today when I went to find it again for this blog, I found this interesting note from another blogger!
*A reader alerted me to the fact that this sermon may have originally been written and preached by Phillips Brooks, pastor and author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The words are attributed to him in this 1952 newspaper. I will continue to research this, but if you have any additional information, please contact me.https://www.celebratingholidays.com/?page_id=4456
I keep a photo on my wall of the statue we found in Boston of Phillips Brooks. Wikipedia says: “A statue of Phillips Brooks is installed outside the Trinity Church in Boston‘s Copley Square, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts.”
What is so enthralling to me is the figure of Jesus standing behind Phillips with His hand on Phillips shoulder as he was preaching. A visual wonder of inspiration and being led by the Lord! A few folks over the years have told me when they were speaking it was as if the hand of the Lord was upon them. I always tried to print out a photo of this statue for their encouragement.
So whether One Solitary Life was written by Pastor James A Francis in a 1925 sermon or by Pastor Phillips Brooks, the impact of the life of Christ is summarized and noted well.
The Text of the Sermon runs: Here is a man who was born in an obscure village as the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty and then for three years was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. 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 where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of his divine manhood. While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. Another betrayed him. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon the cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth while he was dying, and that was his coat. When he was dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today he is the center of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon the earth as powerfully as has this one solitary life.
Our group “Journey Together In Stitches” met recently and someone brought up the prayer by Phillips Brooks on the back cover of Forward Day By Day. He wrote:
O God; Give me strength to live another day: Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties; Let me not lose faith in other people: Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness; Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them; Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity; Open wide the eyes of my sou that I may see good in all things; Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth; Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness; and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls; in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.Phillips Brooks
By the way, I have no credentials. Call me whatever You want, Lord. I am Yours and I will try to always speak Your truth.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.John 14:26 NIV
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.1 John 2:27
Go forward speaking the truth in love in any place the Lord directs you. Never rely on yourself, but His Spirit within you.