The first day of human history
Once upon a time I studied at the Faculty of History, and we were told about the ancient Eastern kingdoms: Egypt, Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, the Hittite empire … We learned the names and numbers of decadent kings, campaign routes of the dead armies against countries from which even names considered bas-reliefs with winged lions and statues of warriors with square beards.
This occupation left behind a bitter feeling of tedious nonsense. Why did all this happen? What are all these people living and dying for? What do we get from the fact that Nabopolassar captured a city, and Ashurbanabal lost part of his kingdom? I remember the image of people painfully executed by the Assyrian army – a huge number of people impaled. What did each of them die for? What awaited them in the days of the Old Testament? Nothing.
The story without Christ seems to be a rotation of sand in a whirlwind: the grains of sand rose, they knocked down, they circled and fell. Babylon rose, Babylon fell, the kingdom of Urartu was raised, the kingdom of Urartu collapsed, in Egypt the twenty-second dynasty changed its twenty-first — nothing changes, everything goes in a circle. Opening the chapter about the next desolate of Eastern Europe or even the whole state, one can say in advance what it says: rules, fought, traded, grew with lands, wrote laws, reached its zenith, weakened, lost its greatness, died and was covered with sand.
It looks like a person’s life story: born, studied, raised, worked, rested, sick, died. He ate four thousand cutlets, drank seven thousand liters of instant coffee, drove the subway to work and back the length of nine hundred equators. I bought furniture in Ikea, left a mortgage loan for bricks for the Tower of Babel on my own. He walked all his life in a circle, for some reason he suffered, somehow he worried, he dreamed about something, he loved someone, but he died anyway, and everyone who knew him died. This is the story.
People, even gathering together for all times, will not be able to create nothing more than the Tower of Babel, majestic only in the eyes of their creators, but also useless for builders. For many centuries, people built and destroyed this tower again and again, but did not achieve anything, because only God can lead people out of the impasse to which history has driven them.
Peter Bruegel "The Tower of Babel"
We know the moment when history has ceased to be a senseless movement of sand – this is Christmas. No more walking in circles, you can stop building the Tower of Babel. It does not matter at all whether the kingdom of the Chaldeans seized Tiglatpalasar and whether a sale started in Ikea – now the most important thing happens in the heart of a person, because the story has finally received direction and made sense. God came, He united Himself with us, became one of us – and connected the history of each person with Eternity.
We have been granted great happiness — to live, seeing before us the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven. Today we remember the day they began to open.
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