A Christmas Truce

November 29th, 2011


Micah 5:1-5a

One encouraging story from the long sad history of human warfare was the Christmas Truce of 1914. Alfred Anderson was then an 18-year-old member of the Scottish Black Watch Brigade. Ninety years later he recalled that day. “I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence,” Anderson told the London Observer in December 2004. “Only the guards were on duty. All I’d heard for two months in the trenches was the hissing, cracking and whining of bullets in flight, machine-gun fire and distant German voices. But there was a dead silence that morning, right across the land as far as you could see. We shouted ‘Merry Christmas,’ even though nobody felt merry.” Guns were set aside as voices lifted Christmas carols in English and German. Songs led to greetings and then to meetings in “no-mans-land” between the trenches. Soldiers exchanged trinkets and gifts. A soccer game followed. “The silence ended in the afternoon and the killing started again. It was a short peace in a terrible war,” he said.*

Micah prophesied a ruler who would embody the peace for which warring humanity often yearns but fails to find. “For [Jesus] himself is our peace” (Eph. 2:14).

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