Stille Nacht. Heilige Nacht.

All was quiet on the western front on Christmas Eve 1914 when the sound of singing broke the silence over the 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 and stopped the war on Christmas Eve.

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 German 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.

Filled with Christmas Spirit, enemies shook hands like friends that cold Christmas morning in 1914.

They exchanged gifts of cigarettes and food.

Some even reported playing a pick-up game of soccer.

Both retrieved their fallen soldiers.

Love Ruled

Not a shot was fired that day in that small part of the Great War.

Christmas Spirit had fueled an informal, impromptu truce between enemies.

They’d risked immediate death, choosing to trust the enemy and marching into no-man’s land, unarmed.

And they’d risked execution at the hand of their own army for fraternizing with the enemy.

A stronger power than fear ruled that day — Love.

Eventually, the soldiers all 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 their enemy, their new friends?

Sadly, the battle resumed, but the memory of The Christmas Truce of 1914 lives on.

May this story of how love came down and made friends of enemies and brought peace to the Western Front for a day continue to pass down to all generations.

Love Conquered

Over 2,000 years ago, Love came down from heaven, but not for a truce. For a takeover.

Jesus Christ came down in the form of a helpless babe.

He lived and died for His enemies.

He wanted no truce with sin or death. He conquered them both on the cross.

“It is finished.” ~John 19:30

Jesus brought peace with God to all who will believe and receive His gift of Love.

He brought peace, not for a day, but forever.  

If, while we were his enemies, Christ reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely now that we are reconciled we may be perfectly certain of our salvation through his living in us. ~ Romans 5:10 (J.B. Phillips)

~ † ~

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5:1

Music Video & Historical Account: Christmas Truce of 1914

(I chose the following music video because it contains Sinead O’Connor’s hauntingly beautiful rendition of Silent Night along with powerful photos from World War I.

The words at the beginning of this song seem to suggest that the two sides simply chose to stop fighting to retrieve their fallen comrades. This doesn’t match every other historical account I read about The Christmas Truce of 1914.

At the bottom of this post is a short clip from The History Channel on this incredible event with wonderful eyewitness accounts.)

The peace of Christmas 1914 didn’t last. Peace with God through faith in Christ is eternal.

May we never listen to Silent Night the same again.

 

Listen to the song that stopped a war for a day. #Christmas Click To Tweet

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
~ Psalm 40:3

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