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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

Attitudes in Marriage

The solution to most of the marital discord in today’s home is found in one line from the Bible. It is, “Take heed to your spirit” (Malachi 2:15). If our attitudes and dispositions are right, then we can live in love and peace in any relationship, including marriage.

What kind of spirit do we need to develop and maintain a good marriage?

1. A trusting spirit. A good marriage is built on faith and trust. Therefore beware of jealousy. We are empowered with certain protective emotions. Fear is one—it makes you careful as you cross the street. Anxiety is another—it makes you prepare carefully that speech you have to make. Jealousy is a third—it makes you watchful over the relationship upon which your security and happiness depend. These are all perfectly good and natural when kept within limits. But when jealousy becomes too strong, it can make life miserable for all concerned. Behind irrational jealousy there is always insecurity. If jealousy is your problem, seek help. Don’t let it ruin your marriage.

2. A sacrificial spirit. The Bible urges that we live “in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10). We are to love one another as Jesus loved us. Sacrifice is at the heart of such love. Avoid a selfish spirit. It is marriage enemy number one. Instead of being selfish, seek to please one another.

3. A reasonable spirit. Don’t expect too much of one another. Allow for some mistakes and failures by your partner. Avoid a critical and nagging spirit. When polls are taken to discover what unhappily married men and women object to in each other, nagging on the spouse’s part almost always heads the list. No one can continue to feel affection toward a spouse who nags them. It only produces coldness and hardness.

4. A forgiving spirit. It is not possible to avoid disagreements in marriage, but they need not canker into resentment. Avoid a grudging spirit. “Let not the sun go down on your wrath,” says the Bible (Ephesians 4:26). Learn to say “I’m sorry” and “You are forgiven.”

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