“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10
There is a journey I’ve been on for a while now. On this journey I’ve taken with my children, one that God is asking me to take, I’ve learned countless things. I’ve learned that He is always with me. As I’m learning things about myself and about my children. I’m also learning things academically.
This past year my girls and I studied World War I. I learned of a story that I had never heard before. The story takes place on no other day but Christmas Day, 1914.
Picture a snow-covered, desolate field in France. Two deep trenches are dug through open terrain. These muddy holes are the homes to soldiers fighting a bloody battle. On one side, are the Germans. Deep inside the opposite trench sit the men of the forces. These are soldiers mainly from Britain, France, and the United States.
This is trench warfare. Extreme, brutal warfare. It’s dangerous. Disease and filthy conditions prevail.
But in the midst of this virtual hell on earth…
It’s also Christmas.
Christmas day 1914, in the middle of nowhere, German soldiers decided to do something special. They took a risk. They lit Christmas trees. They did the unthinkable. They stood, holding up the glowing trees for enemy soldiers to see.
They risked their very lives, climbed out of the protective trench, and walked into “no man’s land”. This was an open invitation to their enemies. They had a choice. Shoot these crazy Germans who came bearing Christmas trees, or celebrate Christmas with the men who were shooting at them the day before.
What happened next was the most amazing, unexpected, ceasefire in the history of the world.
Soldiers exchanged gifts.
They compared photos of sweethearts back home.
They sang Silent Night. Together.
Joy replaced terror.
Laughter replaced tears.
Peace replaced war.
Is. 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father.”
Do you see the significance? As I learned the story with my girls, I saw it. Tears welled up in my eyes.
Nothing else but Jesus could put a World War on pause for a day! Nothing but Jesus could prompt men who might not even believe in Christ, to celebrate His birth! Only Jesus gives us true peace. Only Jesus can give joy for fear. He is the reason to celebrate. There’s none other.
He did it 2000 years ago in a stable. He did it in 1914, in the blood-stained trenches, and He’s still doing it today. He gives peace to you and me that’s as great as the peace lavished on those muddy soldiers.
I find this same peace after a busy day, on the face of my sleeping child.
I feel peace as I sit with my family in front of the Christmas tree.
Only the birth of Jesus could inspire people to spend extra time and money just putting up lights and buying presents.
Only the birth of Jesus would prompt parades, banquets, pageants, parties, and get-togethers like no other time of the year.
It’s undeniable. He brings peace, grace, love, and joy to all people. The good news is for all people. Even those who don’t believe. Watch with joy this year as all people are lavished with His peace. They will celebrate, some even unaware of the reason they celebrate.
Let us, His children, be the reason that someone realizes His birthday not only stopped a war, it can calm your storm.
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Merry Christmas, I pray you have great joy as you celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace!
Writing in answer to his call, Hosanna Barton