The great philanthropist Stanley S. Kresge was often in the company of college presidents or other fund-raisers asking for endowment or financial aid. During the course of discussion, Mr. Kresge would always ask one question, "Do you think the world is better today than it was 2,000 years ago?" I’d like to ask you that question today. Is the world any better after 2,000 years since Christ came?
I say to you on this first Sunday of the third year of the new millennium that Jesus Christ and his teachings lie behind all the efforts at social reform. It was he who put an end to slavery. It was Jesus who abolished the gladiatorial shows of ancient Rome. It was Jesus who elevated the status of women. It was Jesus who sanctified childhood.
It was Jesus, who by his emphasis upon the worth of human personality, conferred on us our liberty. It is Jesus who has given us a new way of life, a new standard of conduct, a new power for living. Christ can save our world when Jesus is born again in the hearts of men and women.
-Dr. William K. Quick, Sermon: Seeing and Believing (Luke 2:22-40), on The Protestant Hour, United Methodist Speaker, December 26, 1999.