Monday, December 24, 2012

The Magnificent Gifts of Christ...

By John Sykes

Every year since 1949 The Wall Street Journal has published a Christmas Eve editorial titled "In Hoc Anno Domini" based on Paul's words to the Galatians:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ~ Gal 5:1


That powerful editorial begins:
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus, the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.
Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.
But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?
There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?
Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's. (Read the rest here...)
On this Christmas, my family and I wish you the freedoms found so magnificently in Christ's gift to us of Himself, of free will and of liberty from the yoke of bondage.