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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

On Faith and Works

One of the common denominators of all world religions except Christianity is that they do not correlate faith and works. In Christianity there is the closest correlation between them. In fact the Bible says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).

The Bible is clear: a workless faith is worthless faith. 

Faith and works must be balanced in true religion. Faith in God and commitment to Jesus Christ are foundational. No man becomes a Christian merely by being good. Faith is the soil from which good works must grow. Real Christian faith always brings forth the fruit of good works. The true follower of Christ first believes, then he serves. As Dr. Perry Webb, former pastor of the First Baptist Church of San Antonio, once said, “A religion that does not look out and reach out and help out is washed out.”

Let us then put our faith into action and thus prove to all the world that it is not dead. 

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