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The Miracle of Christmas

Almost forgotten now - seldom ever recalled – is the Christmas Day of 1914. The First World War was in its first years, and as Christmas drew near, the thoughts of men of both armies, facing each other across the dead strewn “No Man’s Land,” turned towards home. Home where the Christmas trees were gaily decorated amid the warmth and love of the annual celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. 

Religious leaders across the world appealed to both the German and Allied Armies for a Christmas cease-fire. The Kaiser and the Allied generals alike turned a deaf ear. There would be no cessation of hostilities – no ceasefire for any cause. Word was passed down the lines that any and all requests for Christmas leave would be denied. 

But then one of the strangest happenings this world has ever known occurred. At the stroke of midnight, guns ceased to belch forth their message of death. Quietly, rifles were laid aside - a strange silence descended over No Man’s Land. Silently, men reached out to those nearest them to squeeze a hand and by saying “Merry Christmas” to a buddy somehow it was saying it to their loved ones back at home and far away. 

As these whispered greetings were passed along down the trenches, an eerie, unnatural silence gripped the land. Heads were bowed in silent prayer, then suddenly into this silence between the two lines of trenches there came a voice loud and clear “Froelich Weinachten!” which means Merry Christmas in German. Slowly, heads came up to see what was happening. Swiftly now there were greetings of the season flung back and forth all down the lines. Cautiously, one after another, the men of both sides crawled out of their trenches and into the middle of No Man’s Land they met. Enemies sworn to kill each other, German and Allied soldiers rushed to meet each other to exchange Christmas greetings, and to declare for themselves what the appeals of all the religious leaders of the world had not been able to declare.

Afterward, Generals fumed, inquires were made, reprimands were handed out, and by the next Christmas 1915 the practice of killing had become so much a habit that this did not happen again. But this tribute to the power of a baby who was born in a manger will live forever.

 

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

The Trustworthiness of Christ

Some startling claims have been made for Jesus Christ. He is acclaimed as the Son of God and the universal Savior of all men. But how do we know that these claims are true and not fairytales or nursery rhymes? How can we be sure Jesus is trustworthy? There are at least three reasons:

1. His universal appeal and magnetism. Jesus is the most fascinating person who ever lived. He has had a unique appeal to people of all classes, cultures, and ages. By common consent, the character of Jesus surpasses that found in any other person. No other character has caught and held the attention of people like he has. Such an unusual and magnetic appeal merits an unusual explanation. The claims must be true.

2. His effects on history. He has energized history as no other person. The test of pragmatism says of the Christian faith: “It works.” Wherever his message has gone, great changes have occurred. Marriages have become more sacred, women have been elevated, education has been stressed, children have been loved more, slaves have been freed, and hospitals have been built. There is more than a chance that reality is behind any person who can hold such positive qualities or religious character that bless our world.

3. Reliable historical records. What we have in the New Testament is a reliable historical witness on par with other historical events. The apostle Paul, who wrote so much about Christ, was an outstanding intellect and intensely educated. His mind could not have been easily captured by hallucination.

The combined evidence is weighty indeed. Jesus is trustworthy. You can believe in him.

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