Sermon Illustrations

The fields of Flanders were no place to be on Christmas Eve, 1914. Thousands of British, French, Belgian and German troops were dug-in and planning yet another day’s carnage. None of them would have guessed that the “War to End All Wars” would continue nearly four more years and ultimately cost more than eight million soldiers’ lives. So, when the entrenched British soldiers saw candle-lit decorations emerging from the enemy’s foxholes and heard the strains of faint melodies being sung in German they thought their enemies were taunting them and prepared to open fire. Suddenly, one of the British soldiers recognized the melody and started singing too -- the same song that the Germans were singing -- only in English. Soon other British soldiers began singing as well and suddenly the whole battlefield, in that little parched land of war-torn France on the Christmas Eve, 1917, was singing “Silent Night.”

For the remainder of that night and much of the next week the war stopped, as the both sides lay down their weapons and lifted their 18-20 year old voices to sing familiar Christmas carols in their own languages. An amazing spirit of peace fell over the battlefield that night as war gave way to peace in the Spirit of the Christmas child whose coming had been foretold by Isaiah. By New Years all sides would be back to killing as usual but, for a brief moment, peace came to one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history. That same Christ still offers peace to the bloodiest of conflicts in our lives. (3)

Usually the cease-fire God brings to the battles in our lives is short-lived because we then tend to set him aside until the next round of conflict. But, today Jesus wants to bring lasting peace -- a peace that will be cultivated daily and leave lasting fruit in our war-torn lives.


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