Posted by Craig Borlase on 6 December 2017

Silent Night devotional

Christmas 1914. As the soldiers stood in the pock-marked earth that lay between the trenches, they sang. Unexpectedly – unbelievably – the war was on pause. Some men exchanged greetings and gifts, others played football. All of them took part in what has to be the most powerful Christmas since the very first one. 

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‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’

‘He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’’

[Revelation 21:3-5]

Thought:

They called it the Great War, and most people believed that the soldiers would be home by Christmas. Nobody dreamed it would take four years and 16 million dead before World War I finally ended. 

Yet the war’s first Christmas contained that moment that continues to be talked about today. After yet another day of fighting, British soldiers on the Western Front saw their German counterparts lift candles into the air late on Christmas Eve. The German soldiers were exposed by the light, their weapons nowhere to be seen, and from their trenches came the sound of a Christmas carol whose melody was profoundly familiar to British ears.

And so, as the Germans sang “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!”, the British joined in; “Silent Night! Holy Night!” they sang. In time, soldiers from both sides emerged from their defences and walked - unarmed - into no-mans land. At any other time it would have been suicide, but this time it was different. This time it was special.

Like all the best songs, Silent Night has an enduring power to break boundaries and unite enemies. And this simple song continues to inspire today, leading us to stop a while and remember the powerful truth behind the fact that, “Christ the Saviour is born”. That one, simple fact has changed everything.

Invitation:

Two thousand years ago another man did something that made the world stop. Jesus stepped into no-mans land and changed things forever. He didn’t just secure a temporary truce, but secured our eternal place in the presence of God. In His death and resurrection, He made everything new. Thanks to Him, there will be no more death. And because of all that Jesus did, we get to start again. We get to have things put right between us and God. We get to come home.

Prayer:

Father God, thank you for sending your Son to rescue us. Teach me what it means to say Yes to you today.

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