Scripture: Proverbs 16:7 "When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies be at peace with him."
By Ann Perrott
I have always loved reading history, especially on different wars the US has been involved in. In most cases I am amazed, perplexed and even angered over why we went to war in the first place. World War I is an example of a war that made no sense at all. Everything I have read on it makes me realize how hungry some people are for war. Freedom from conflict can be a very insecure time for some men. I read once that Churchill was provoked during peace time when he was very young. He would be hopeful for an upheaval somewhere in the world.
On Christmas Eve, 1914 though, men on the British and German sides of the trenches were craving peace. It has been reported (unofficially), that on the evening of December 24, 1914, British soldiers heard German troops along the Western Front singing Christmas carols and saw some decorated fir trees in the light of their trenches. Then, one man on each side began shouting messages back and forth. Soon, when they trusted that the other side would not shoot, they gathered together, sang carols, drank together and played soccer. Of course this would not last. By Christmas day each side was back in their trenches and fighting resumed.
Those moments of peace were sacred moments. Any time human beings can stop violence and hate—no matter how short lived, it is sacred. This is the humanity that God created, one where mankind can realize that we are all the same, we grow up the same, we have families the same and we want to be loved the same. These young men did not ask for the war they were made to fight in, and I cannot imagine what it was like to pick up a rifle again after that peaceful evening and get back into the mind set of killing again. Yet, one holy night in 1914, young men came together for the common good and there was peace in that place even for a little while.