The Christmas Truce of 1914 is fairly well known by now. There was peace in the midst of World War I between the Germans and English that Christmas Eve. It’s a lovely story of how conflict turned into a joint celebration though Christmas Day. After that, the fighting resumed and blood continued to be spilled.
It made me think how our peace is short lived peace during this most precious time of the year, when what we celebrate should give us complete peace to last a lifetime. Instead, we scurry around for a month or two preparing for it and within a day we go back to an existence which is anything but peaceful.
On that first Christmas, when God decided to become one of us for a short time there was peace for a little while. The quiet of the night was interrupted only by the sound of cattle lowing – the occasional commotion outside in a quiet town turned into a huge family reunion – the passing of a group of Roman soldiers – the sound of angel choirs coming from heaven. For a brief time there was peace – complete and everlasting peace.
Within a few days, confusion returned. People went about their business and many completely forgot the magnitude of this wonderfully amazing event. We often do the same thing.
Once the gifts are opened, the meals consumed, the beautiful music turned off we return to our tumultuous lives. The beauty of Christmas is packed away in storage containers for another year and Jesus is forgotten for another year.
Finding joy in a world filled with so much sorrow and hatred isn’t easy, but it’s the greatest gift we will ever receive. The lasting joy that comes at this time of year is better than a life insurance policy. It’s a truce that lasts for eternity.