He was born in an obscure village,
the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in still another village
where he worked in a carpenter’s shop
until he was thirty.
He did none of the things one usually
associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty-three when
public opinion turned against him.
He was turned over to his enemies
When he was dead he was laid
in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen centuries have passed and today
he is the central figure of the human race.
No one has affected the life of man on earth
as much as that one solitary life.
This was originally a sermon written by Dr James Allan Francis in 1926. It has since become shorter and tweaked by various people and from an anonymous source.
Dear Reverend God,
Your private research commission has prepared its final report.
As chair person I must inform you that we are unanimously against your project and for the following reasons:
It’s dangerous for your son to become a human being:
he could be hungry, thirsty, suffer or even be killed.
But if you insist, we suggest a few changes and some delay:
Jesus must be born from a married woman:
nobody will believe the story of Mary and the angel.
Or he should appear on earth as an adult:
why waste all those growing up years?
Whether Jesus is a boy or a girl,
50% of the people will feel discriminated against.
The birth in the stable is ridiculous:
our commission prefers a palace.
Shepherds should be involved:
they are scorned even by the middle class.
Galilee is a remote province, little esteemed:
Jesus won’t find the right kind of apostles there.
Transportation system is too slow yet:
It’s a long walk from Nazareth to Jerusalem.
Sound systems don’t exist yet:
too few people will hear Jesus’ message.
But the most compelling reason against your plan
is that it has never been done before.
And God said:
Thanks to all the members of your commission.
You are very intelligent, and you have discovered very valuable reasons against my project.
But what do your hearts tell you?
Dear Reverend God,
You asked us for a study based on scientific facts and rational analysis.
The heart reasons were not part of our mandate.
You are the specialist about the love questions.