points to ponder

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Rev. E. Anderson
THE CHRIST OF BETHLEHEM

Some tell us that Jesus’ earthly life was not very important. They say he wrote no books, composed no songs, drew no pictures, carved no statues, massed no fortune, commanded no army, ruled no nation. And yet . . . He who never wrote a line has been made the hero of unnumbered volumes. He who never wrote a song has put music into the hearts of nameless multitudes. He who never established an institution is the foundation of the Church that bears his name. He who refused the kingdoms of this world has become the Lord of millions. Yes, He whose shameful death scarcely produced a ripple on the pool of history in his day has become a mighty current in the vast ocean of the centuries since He died. MACK STOKES

THE REAL CHRIST

The people who hanged Christ never accused Him of being a bore; on the contrary, they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with the atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him “meek and mild,” and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. To those who knew Him, however, He in no way suggested a milk-and-water person; they rejected to Him as a dangerous firebrand. True, He was tender to the fortunate, patient with honest inquirers, and humble before heaven; but: insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites; He referred to king Herod as “that fox”;

He went to parties in disreputable company and was looked upon as a “gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners”; He insulted indignant tradesmen and threw them and their belongings out of the Temple, . . . He showed no proper deference wealth or social position; when confronted with neat dialectical traps, He played a paradoxical humour that affronted serious-minded people, and He resorted by asking disagreeable questions that could not be answered by rule thumb . . . But He had a “daily beauty in his life that made us ugly,” and officialdom felt that the established order of things would be more secure without Him. So they did away with God in the name of peace and quietness. DOROTHY SAYERS

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