This week's Advent Meditation is written by Bruce Frost
It is December 24, 1914, somewhere near Ypres, Belgium. You are a lonely soldier standing knee deep in mud in a freezing, rain-soaked trench. you have lost many friends in this miserable trench warfare in the months since WWI began. Your watch has just started, and you can only hope that it will pass uneventfully. Out of the darkness a faint sound falls on your ears. Singing? Hymns? Christmas songs? That cannot be! You chance a look over the edge of the trench at the enemy lines. A Christmas tree? With candles on it? What is happening? It must be a trick...
Nevertheless, this is how the Christmas Truce of 1914 began on Christmas Eve. All along the front lines, groups of soldiers from both sides began to call truces and meet each other in "no man's land" between the trenches. Cakes, candy, cigars, cigarettes, and even beer were exchanged. men shared pictures and stories from home. There were several accounts of soccer games that were played between the British and Germans on Christmas day. The dead were gathered on both sides and in some cases buried side by side in the same grave. The unexplainable peace of Christmas had descended on a conflict that would eventually see 16 million soldiers and civilians perish.
Just as those soldiers did in the middle of a horrible war, Jesus invites us to find peace in him in the midst of our conflicts. There are those among us who face sickness, family problems, job conflicts, addiction, and other unspoken problems. A recent Sunday school lesson reminded me that we cannot always choose our circumstances, but we can always choose how we react to them. We can choose our attitude toward our conflicts, just as those soldiers did nearly 100 years ago.
This Christmas, may you shed the bonds of conflict and let the peace of Christ flow through you. The peace of Jesus, the peace that passes all understanding, is available to use each and every day of the year. Choose to bring your fee
Rev. Steve Ayers, Jr. began serving as pastor for The Oaks Baptist Church on June 27, 2016. He and his wife Rebekah along with their two twin boys Luke and Silas have become an important part of the church. Their warm and loving spirits as well as the boys have captured the hearts of many at the church.