You may or may not have heard the story of the Christmas truce that occurred along the Western Front of WW1 between the British and German soldiers of 1914. Those who have written accounts of the event, recall it as an unofficial ceasefire that began as evening fell on Christmas Eve, and continued until Boxing Day (and in some places until New Years Day) along the trenches. The merriment began Christmas Eve when the German troops placed candles along their trenches and trees, and began to sing Christmas carols in their own language. The British responded with Christmas carols of their own, and both sides continued to sing their songs back and forth until late at night. Come morning both sides left their trenches and met in the middle of the muddy field; shaking hands and exchanging greetings. They helped each other bury the dead remaining on the field and held joint services in their memory. They exchanged prisoners of war, food, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats, and even gave one another haircuts. But the most well known event was the soccer match, with men joining in from both sides. When darkness finally fell on that Christmas day, both sides returned to their own trenches, and sang more Christmas carols into the night.
To me, what is most amazing about this story, is that in the midst of a deadly war men chose to rise above the circumstances and go against ‘what was normally done’ for the opportunity to act in kindness to one another. This moment of love overcoming hate, reminds me of what Jesus spoke of in the book of Luke chapter 6 verses 27 to 38. Here, God gives a great challenge to all of mankind, and promises a great return for those who are willing to commit themselves to it. I can only imagine what our world would be like if more of us would be willing to step out, and be the change we want to see in this world. God Bless you all, and have a very Merry Christmas.
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”