A Christmas Truce! In his latest essay, which he entitled “Silent Night,” my long-time and great friend, Jack Wyman, wrote on a time during World War I when the Brits and the Germans stared each other down from their respective trenches. It was Christmas Eve 1914, and the Spirit of the LORD was evidently moving. First the Germans placed candles on their trenches, and then followed that with singing Christmas carols. The Brits, not that far away, could see and hear, and they responded with their own choruses, and it wasn’t long before an unofficial cease fire was in place, with troops actually strolling across “no man’s land” to smile, shake hands, and even throw down some brew and have a smoke together! As Jack says, “It was a short peace in a terrible war.”
What Jack wrote about was real, but the movie that I watched on TV last night was probably novel fiction. This one was set in World War II and was entitled “A Christmas Truce.” It featured personalities from opposing sides bonding, life and death struggles, romance, and their own Christmas truce that set the stage for the movie. And it had a very happy ending!
I hate war. In our church we have more than one military hero, but one of my best friends ever who does not wish to be named, is one of them. This man is a Silver Star honoree, a true American combat hero, and he describes war as sometimes being “A necessary evil.” That’s about it. Wars are usually fueled by demon possessed leaders who stand back as their peoples’ lives are destroyed so they can engage in their own selfish fantasies. I’ll leave it there. A great recounting of history by as great a writer as you will ever read (Jack Wyman) and a great movie last night.
But Christmas Eve 2020 is within our sight and hearing, and there is a Christmas Truce here too, one that hearkens back some 2,000 years when Christ was born. After all, Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and He brings a peace that passes understanding to our hearts (Philippians 4:7). And that peace is one that the world cannot possibly give (John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Where’s the truce, some might ask? Well, we were at war with ourselves and with God, born in sin and rebellion. But Jesus lit the candle (He is the Light of the world) and he sang the song of redemption for all mankind, making his way across no man’s land to reach out to us (Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”). He gave his life to save ours! And unlike both the truce of Wyman and the truce of the movie, this truce is not temporary. Yes, this one lasts forever!
Psalm 85:10 eloquently and romantically states God’s truce: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” What a Christmas Truce, brought forth in a manger this Christmas day! No more war ever! No more death and destruction, no more fighting, and in its place, eternal life and happiness with no parting and no tears!
The fighting men of World War I could not achieve it, Hollywood cannot properly picture it, but Jesus delivered it!
It’s a Christmas Truce!
Love to all,