Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Carols’

Flanders Field

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

On Flanders battlefield Christmas Eve 1914 German, French and British troops facing each other, were settling in for the night when a German soldier began to sing “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht.” Others joined in. When they had finished the British and French responded with other Christmas carols.
The men from both sides left their trenches, met in the middle, shook hands, exchanged gifts, and shared family pictures. Christmas Day soccer games were held. A combined worship service was held to bury the dead from both sides.
The generals were not pleased. Troops who know each others’ names and share family stories are less likely to want to kill each other. War seems to require a nameless, faceless enemy.
After that magical Christmas truce the troops spent a few days simply firing aimlessly into the sky. Then the war turned back to earnest and continued for three more years.
Yet the story of that Christmas Eve lingers – a night when the angels really did sing of peace on earth.
As technology in our global village zooms in on our impoverished neighbors we begin to sense the vulnerability of people in the Developing World. Personal computers and Facebook are providing faces and names to some of our new global friends struggling with extreme poverty. People who know each others’ names are less likely to shrug off the needs of impoverished neighbors. Poverty will disappear when it becomes a priority to the western world.
We are beginning to grasp the fact that all the people on earth compose God’s family. All major religions include concepts of love for one another. As Christians in mission, Emerging Mission Ministries is developing and supporting mission solutions that build on those aspects of love to alleviate global poverty.
When the right time came, God sent a son and a woman gave birth to him. God’s son obeyed the law so he could set us free from the law and we could become God’s children. Now that we are God’s children, God has sent the spirit of the son into our hearts. Galatians 4:4-6

For These Days

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

        Luke 2:13 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

        In the Ozark Mountains there is an old legend that at midnight on Christmas Eve the cattle kneel in adoration of the Savior, who came into their stable many years ago. A part of the legend, however, is that they will not kneel if any human being is watching. This makes the story safe from prying, scientific eyes. We shall never be able to prove or disprove it by the evidence of our senses. That is the way Christmas is, an intimate, ultimate thing, which is ever beyond the eyes of our proud minds.

        It seems to me that there are really two Christmases, one, which we have made, and one, which God has made. There is the Christmas that we see on Every Street – Jingle Bells, lights on trees and houses, reindeer on rooftops, jolly old Santa Claus, and more toys than we’ve ever seen. This is not all bad, but it’s not the real Christmas. The real Christmas is seen in the Advent Wreath, the manger scene, the singing of Christmas carols, Luke 2, the Nicene Creed with its mystery eternally begotten of the Father, …true God from true God, and a child destined to know more poverty and sorrow than anyone ever.

        We don’t understand all that Christmas means. Only the cattle know if they really kneel to the Savior at midnight, and only we ourselves, in our hearts, can know when we are kneeling at the manger. My prayer is that we will be drawn closer to the real Christmas as the Savior beckons us to see with hearts of love.

        How has this Advent Season differed from others?