Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Year of Our Lord

2016 is almost here; just a few hours and we’ll turn our calendars to a new year. More precisely,  A.D. 2016 is almost here. A.D. is an abbreviation for the Latin words Anno Domini which translate to the Lord’s year or the year of our Lord. During the sixth century a monk named Dionysius Exiguus introduced this system of numbering years.  In 1582 Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar which confirmed the useage of A.D. The Gregorian calendar is today the most widely used civil calendar in the world. Just in case you are wondering, there is no zero in this scheme. A.D. 1 comes immediately after 1 B.C. A.D. 1 marks the birth year of Jesus on our calendars. The birth of Christ is the dividing point of time in world history. B.C. was everything “before Christ” and A.D. is everything after his birth. Some secular scholars have attempted to remove these references to Jesus by using B.C.E (before the common era) to replace B.C. and C.E. (common era) to replace A.D. They have not been successful, however, in removing his influence. I am reminded the essay “One Solitary Life” by Dr. James Allan Francis:
He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant womanHe grew up in another obscure village Where he worked in a carpenter shopUntil he was thirty when public opinion turned against him
He never wrote a book
He never held an officeHe never went to collegeHe never visited a big cityHe never travelled more than two hundred milesFrom the place where he was bornHe did none of the thingsUsually associated with greatnessHe had no credentials but himself 
He was only thirty three 
His friends ran away
ne of them denied himHe was turned over to his enemiesAnd went through the mockery of a trialHe was nailed to a cross between two thievesWhile dying, his executioners gambled for his clothingThe only property he had on earth 
When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
hrough the pity of a friend 
Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human raceAnd the leader of mankind's progressAll the armies that have ever marchedAll the navies that have ever sailedAll the parliaments that have ever satAll the kings that ever reigned put togetherHave not affected the life of mankind on earthAs powerfully as that one solitary life
My 2016 truly be the year of Lord for all of us.

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