Tuesday, December 09, 2008

One Example of Peace on Earth

One definition of peace is an absence of war or conflict. I am not sure if I will ever see our world in a time without conflict, there always seems to be a war somewhere. But I do know that when Jesus came to earth as a man He brought peace. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Peace on earth can be experienced, maybe not in the fullest sense we see in Isaiah 11:6-9 where predator will live peacefully with the prey.

As you consider aspects of peace read through the amazing story of a time of peace experienced on a battlefield many years ago. I am praying that a time of peace, regardless of how short, can be experienced on our many battlefields this Christmas.

The Christmas Truce

The truce began on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium, for Christmas. They began by placing candles on trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols, most notably Stille Nacht (Silent Night). The Scottish troops in the trenches across from them responded by singing English carols.

The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were calls for visits across the "No Man's Land" where small gifts were exchanged — whisky, jam, cigars, chocolate, and the like. The soldiers exchanged gifts, sometimes addresses, and drank together. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Proper burials took place as soldiers from both sides mourned the dead together and paid their respects. At one funeral in No Man's Land, soldiers from both sides gathered and read a passage from the 23rd Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

Article on The Christmas Truce came from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

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