“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Amid the horrors of World War I, there occurred a unique event in the annals of warfare. For a few hours, a temporary truce was declared. All became quiet on Christmas Eve 1914. The war was only five months old and already around 800,000 men had been wounded or killed. As Christmas day approached, the soldiers began to think. Surrounded by death, they reflected. So far from home and the things they loved, these soldiers proceeded to ponder. Then something happened. British soldiers raised signs that said “Merry Christmas.” From the British trenches, a loud, sweet, tenor voice began to sing “The Lord Is My Shepherd.” From the German side, a rich baritone voice joined in, “Der Herr Ist Mein Hirte”—the same song in German.
Early on Christmas morning some of the British soldiers scrambled out of their trenches into no-man’s-land. They carried a soccer ball. Between the trenches, they started a game. Some of the German soldiers joined in. It was England v. Germany. Those who were there say the Germans won 3-2. In some places, the truce continued the next day, neither side willing to fire the first shot. Only when fresh troops arrived did the war resume.
What force changed hatred into a handshake? No human force could do such a thing. Only Jesus has such power. If, up until this time, fear has been lord in your life, let me introduce you to the Prince of Peace. One night, 2000 years ago, when the world was living in fear, He came. The angel said: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
When was the last time you heard of good news for everyone? Some win; some lose; that’s life. But it’s not God’s way of life. The Father sent His Son, the Prince of Peace, so all who believe on Him might have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). Jesus, our Savior is good news for all people. It is possible that when you read this America may be at war. Without Jesus, your heart is certainly in conflict. If so, I encourage you to find your peace in Him who can untrouble your heart and banish your fears: Jesus Christ, God’s Good News of great joy.
Excerpt from March 30, 2003 (and April 6, 2003): A Special Message in a Time of War