If a News Caster such as Dan Rather had been living in 1809, his evening news broadcasts would have concentrated on Austria ... not Britain or America. The attention of the entire world was on Napoleon as he swept across helpless hamlets like fire across a Kansas wheat field. Nothing else was half as significant on the international scene. The broad brush strokes on the historian's canvas give singular emphasis to the bloody scenes of tyranny created by the diminutive dictator of France. From 'Trafalgar to Waterloo, his name was a synonym for superiority.
At that time of invasions and battles, babies were being born in Britain and America. But who was interested in babies and bottles, cradles and cribs while history was being made? What could possibly be more important in 1809 than the fall of Austria? Who cared about English-speaking infants that year Europe was in the limelight?
Somebody should have. A veritable host of thinkers and statesmen drew their first breath in 1809.
William Gladstone was born in Liverpool
Alfred Tennyson began his life in Lincolnshire.
Oliver Wendell Holmes cried out in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Edgar Alan Poe a few miles away in Boston, started his brief and tragic life.
A physican named Darwin and his wife called their infant son Charles Robert.
Robert Charles Winthrop wore his first diapers.
A rugged log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky, owned by an illiterate wandering laborer was filled with the infant screams of a newborn boy named Abraham Lincoln.
All that (and more) happened in 1809 ... but who cared? The destiny of the world was being shaped on battlefields in Austria-or was it? No, indeed!
Only a handful of history buffs today could name even one Austrian campaign-but who can measure the impact of those other lives? What appeared to be super-significant to the world has proven to be no more exciting than a Sunday afternoon yawn. What seemed to be totally insignificant was, in fact, the genesis of an era.
Go back eighteen centuries before that. Who could have cared about the birth of a baby while the world was watching Rome in all her splendour? Bounded on the west by the Atlantic ... on the east by the Euphrates ... on the north by the Rhine and Danube ... on the south by the Sahara Desert, the Roman Empire was as vast as it was vicious. Political intrigue, racial tension, increased immorality, and enormous military might occupied everyone's attention and conversation. Palestine existed under the crush of Rome's heavy boot. All eyes were on Augustus, the cynical Caesar who demanded a census so as to determine a measurement to enlarge taxes. At that time who was interested in a couple making an eighty-mile trip south from Nazareth? What could possibly be more important than Caesar's decisions in Rome? Who cared about a Jewish baby born in Bethlehem?
God did. Without realizing it, mighty Augustus was only an errand boy for the fulfillment of Micah's prediction ... a pawn in the hand of Jehovah: a piece of lint on the pages of prophecy. While Rome was busy making history, God arrived. He pitched His fleshly tent in silence on straw ... in a stable ... under a star. The world didn't even notice. Reeling from the wake of Alexander the Great ... Herod the Great ... Augustus the Great, the world overlooked Mary's little Baby that we know as Jesus.
For too many - It still does.
Rhymer. December 26th, 2019.
Just a few thoughts I've had of late.