Stille Nacht. Heilige Nacht.
All was quiet on the western front on Christmas Eve, 1914, when the sound of singing broke the silence over a World War I battlefield.
Stille Nacht. Heilige Nacht.
Hunkered down in their foxholes, Allied soldiers recognized the tune rising from the German side of no-man’s land.
Silent Night. Holy Night.
They joined their voices with the Germans over the battlefield on Christmas Eve and stopped the war.
Silent Night. Holy Night. All is calm. All is bright.
As the sun rose Christmas morning, the Allied soldiers noticed the Germans standing in their foxholes, waving. The Allies stood, too. For a second. What if it was a trick? They peeked over their foxholes and stared in disbelief at what they witnessed next.
The Germans emerged, unarmed, and walked into the middle of no-man’s land, calling out, “Merry Christmas” in English. Stunned but intrigued, the Allies crawled out of their holes and met the Germans in the middle. Enemies, filled with Christmas spirit, shook hands as friends that cold Christmas morning. They exchanged gifts of cigarettes and food. Some even reported playing a pick-up game of soccer. Both sides retrieved their fallen soldiers.
All Is Calm, All Is Bright
No one fired a shot that day in this small section of the Great War. Christmas had inspired an impromptu truce. Each side risked death, choosing to trust their enemies rather than destroy them. They risked execution for fraternizing with one another. A stronger power than fear ruled the day—the peace of Christ.
Eventually, both sides returned to their foxholes and waited to see what would happen. How could they shoot each other now that they’d shaken hands and exchanged kindnesses? Could they continue to defy the rules and not engage those who were once their enemies, now their friends?
Sadly, the battle resumed. But the memory of the Christmas Truce of 1914 lives on.
Christ the Savior Is Born
Over two thousand years ago, the Savior came down from heaven, not for a momentary truce, but to win a war. He arrived in the form of a helpless babe to die for His enemies. Not content with a cease-fire, he conquered sin and death on the cross.
“It is finished.” (John 19:30)
With this victory, Jesus brought peace with God to all who will believe and receive His gift of Love—not for a day, but forever. The peace of Christmas, 1914, didn’t last, but peace with God through faith in Christ will last forever.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:1)
Are you facing a battle? Is a war raging in your heart or your home? Lay down your weapons and by faith spread the peace of Christ. If you can’t induce peace in others, embrace it yourself. When the peace of Christ rules our hearts, a song will rise in our souls—a new song—a hymn of praise to our God. Who knows what God will do with it? Perhaps many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD (Psalm 40:3).
May Christ’s peace give you a silent night, a holy night, in your home today and every day.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and they will trust in the LORD.