Summary: Jesus, the Prince of Peace can bring peace to our troubled hearts.
World War One began just over 97 years ago. By the end of the war, 15 million would die, 20 million more wounded. It was the largest scale of casualties in human history. Just this year, the last combat veteran of what was called “The Great War” died. He was Claude Choules who served in the British Royal Navy (and later the Royal Australian Navy), and died 5 May 2011, at the age of 110 (wikipedia.com).
There is a touching story from the early days of the first world war. Less than 6 months into the war, soldiers from both sides were locked into trench warfare, holding their lines against one the opposing army. It was Christmas Eve, 1914. There are varied accounts of what happened, but for during the night of Christmas Eve and on the following Christmas day, soldiers from both sides declared an unofficial “truce.”
Some say it started when the German troops lit candles on Christmas trees that were sentn to them from home. Eventually, Carols were being sung in German, and echoed in English and French. English bagpipers accompanied German soldiers singing “Silent Night.”
Throughout the night, soldiers exchanged greetings, and by daylight, many ventured across the barbed wire into “no mans land” to shake hands with their enemies. The men exchanged buttons from their uniforms, and Christmas treats from home. One English private wrote home to tell his parents how much the Germans loved mom’s “Christmas Pudding.” He wrote “if we would have had an ample supply of Christmas pudding, every German on the lines would have surrendered” (Private Frederick W. Heath, http://open.salon.com/blog/lost_in_berlin/2011/12/23/the_christmas_truce_of_1914_an_eyewitness_writes_home
Gary Kohls documents the events in his story.
“An over-confidant Kaiser Wilhelm had even ordered 100,000 Christmas trees, with candles for decoration, to be delivered to the German trenches for Christmas, ...to boost morale. And then the spontaneous events happened at various points on the 700-mile-long trench lines that stretched all across France. The singing of Christmas carols started an extraordinary chain of events that culminated in acts of mass treason that would never be duplicated in the history of warfare. One of the best-loved versions of the story was that the Germans started singing “Stille Nacht” and the British responded by singing the English language version, “Silent Night.” Then, the French and Scots joined in and all sides sang together in their own tongues, the Scots accompanying the Germans with their bagpipes.” Gary Kohls, “The Christmas Truce of 1014" http://consortiumnews.com/2011/12/16/the-christmas-truce-of-1914
Stanley Weintraub, writes more about this unique night in his book, “Silent Night.”
For a moment, Jesus brought PEACE.
We have been studying Isaiah 9:6. Today we come to the fourth two-part description of the Messiah. Isaiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."