Caesar Augustus

4245741I had it all.  Power, connection, posterity, an entire kingdom… mine.  The first emperor of Rome.  A tribune for life.

True, I was one of the people, a countryman.  Born Gaius Octavius in Rome 63 BC.  However, sheer defiance would rule out the ordinary.   My destiny was authority.  Born to greatness; leadership in my blood.  I was adopted by Julius Caesar.  Adopted into power and might.  I was crushed by my uncle’s assassination, but only for a moment, for then I held the power of the empire in my hand.  A power I respected and transformed into a monarchy.  A power I exploited.  I worshiped the Roman gods, yet insisted on my people worshiping me as a god.  My face on coins, my image on statues across the land.

I hungered for power.  So thirsty for it, I would have cut opened my very veins to drink it in.  Glory was mine.  Rome; famed and great because of me.  From the military to the arts, I had a hand in crafting Roman culture.  I led with innovation and tradition.  My reign was marked by a season of peace and prosperity for my people.   I knew no limit to my apparent success.

Nonetheless, there was a wrinkle in my plan.  A glitch in the cosmos of time.  One little thing, which would become my greatest downfall.  A baby.   An infant boy that would be king.  A child born in an unknown corner of my grand kingdom.

I never met this child, nor did I meet the man he grew to be.  While I built the Roman Forum he and his motley band carried the gospel on the roads I commissioned.  For thirty three years, He built his kingdom and I built mine.  His power rivaled my own, but I did not know it.

A baby in a manger.  A man on a cross.  Me.  A man caught at a crossroad.  I answered to power and spoke the language of might, when I should have fallen on my knees and succumbed to the vernacular of grace.

I had it all.  Power, connection, posterity, an entire kingdom… mine.  A tribune for life.  The greatest Roman Emperor.  Yet I had nothing.  Nothing that mattered outside the domain of my kingdom.  There was another kingdom that I refused to acknowledge.  Blinded by power, choking on success.  A kingdom that surpassed my own.

A cry in the wind from an obscure manger.  A cry from the cross that rang out across the land that all is finished.

And me?  I am finished too.  Finished by a power I could only grasp at.  Run in by a love so pure I ran from it.  Torn apart by a kingdom I could not see with my eyes.

Yes, it is finished indeed.


PS – I wrote this monologue for my church, which then turned into this:

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