It was Christmas Eve, 1914. The First World War had been raging since July. The British troops in their trenches had been fighting the nearby Germans who were in their trenches. Then a strange thing happened. British soldiers up and down the front line reported that the German trenches were lit up, and that the Germans were singing Silent Night. The Germans sent word that for this one night, they would cease firing on the British if the British would cease firing on them. The British were skeptical, so they sent scouts to meet up with the German scouts. The German scouts said, “Merry Christmas” and offered them whiskey and cigars as a sign of their good intention. Without seeking or obtaining permission from their higher headquarters, both sides declared a temporary cease fire. Eventually both sides along the long front joined together in singing Christmas hymns at the top of their lungs. Someone somewhere played a piccolo. Not one shot was fired that night. Even a world war could not destroy the Christmas spirit.
Who could inspire such peace? Who could bring such a spirit of joy and hope to both ally and enemy alike who were worn down by the atrocities of war? Only Jesus.
The prophet Isaiah said this about the coming Messiah Jesus:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6).
O Lord my God, I need the Prince of Peace to enter the trenches of my life, and there to bring a much-needed peace and cease fire. I also promise to share that peace with others, even my enemies. Amen.
Rev. Art Pace
CH (COL-ret), USA