By now, most of you have heard the heartwarming story of the Great War’s spontaneous Christmas Truce in 1914. Apparently on December 24th and 25th thousands of soldiers stopped their fighting and crossed no man’s land to enjoy Christmas carols, presents, and even a little soccer with the enemy.
Ahh, the power of Christmas! Surely the angels sang to the shepherds that the Savior was born for all people. Surely the Messiah’s coming was to cause the lion to lay down with the lamb, the bows turning into fish hooks. How fantastic to see the Prince of Peace’s effect on enemies in war! If only such a truce could be enjoyed by the citizens of Ferguson or New York, Iraq or Afghanistan.
Of course the 1914 Christmas truce is overshadowed by the real Christmas truce; the day God crossed no man’s land into enemy territory, even as our weapons were fully engaged. He did not wait for an agreement between parties. He did not wait for us to stand down. Though His cause of war was just against us, He sent His one and only Son, the one whom He loved, completely unarmed, hands up, even as a vulnerable infant.
More than that, this Son was sent to be a ransom in exchange for prisoners, you and me. Jesus marched forward without a weapon, with a white flag in one hand and our sins in the other.
Christmas is indeed the celebration of a truce. Instead of punishing us as we deserve, God showers us with gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. Instead of turning His face away, He has turned it toward us in His Son Jesus Christ.
As I have thought a little longer this past year about the beauty of WWI’s Christmas truce, I have come to despise it. In fact, it was one of the dumbest events in history. There is nothing to applaud about. It was a freaking joke!
World War One was not like other wars. There was nothing just about it. It was the result of European brow beating and chest thumping. The French wanted to kill Germans just because they hated them and vice versa. World War One was the epitome of mankind’s stupidity and sinfulness. Ironically, many European nations looked down on the U.S. for the whole Iraq affair, yet the Iraq war had far more cause than WWI. And because our foolish cousins overseas couldn’t even end the war well, they gave us WWII for just measure. I would even suggest we took the wrong side in 1917. The U.S. lost more than 500,000 lives as we cleaned up their racist shallow crap. So they have absolutely no business advising the U.S. on anything! Rant over.
What disgusts me about the Christmas truce is that what happened on December 26, 1914. They went back to their trenches, picked up their guns and killed each other. That made the truce absolutely worthless; wouldn’t you say? A joke! Asinine monkey business!
But while we smirk at the idiocy of the whole thing, how is your Christmas truce going? Oh, we love our Christmas time. We call a truce on Christmas Eve and shake the hand of our enemy at church or in the neighborhood. We give to the food bank, race around delivering presents to the poor, send cards to the relatives we never want to visit. We drop our weapons, come out of our foxholes and sing carols together about peace and love!
But what happens on the 26th? We go back to our bunker, pick up our gun, and start shooting!
O foolish Christians.
Christmas is not a one day truce. It is not about a temporary pause or short cease fire. God has made a permanent truce with you in His Son Jesus. You are just as forgiven and free as you were yesterday. Christians enjoy Christmas 365 days of the year.
So drop your weapons! Come out of your fox hole. The war is over. Go find an enemy to hug!