Create Your Own Christmas Miracle
One hundred years ago, on December 23, 1914, a remarkable miracle happened on the western front in Flanders, now Belgium and northern France.
The forces of Allied and Central Powers faced off in what was known as the Great War, that bloody conflict when, for the first time, it seemed the entire world was involved. The miracle took place during the fifth month of that 52-month ordeal in the area between the two forces known as no-man’s-land. The enemies were dug in trenches that were, in some places, less than 50 yards from each other. The beleaguered soldiers were physically exhausted, spiritually challenged, and combat-traumatized.
No-man’s-land was littered with barbed wire and corpses. Soldiers recalled seeing the eerie gaze of dead comrades staring back at them. Others heard the plaintive cries of wounded soldiers pleading for help. Sympathetic soldiers were powerless to assist for fear of being mowed down by enemy fire.
As the Christmas spirit broke over the battlefield, Germans, instead of holding weapons, held up signs: “You no fight, we no fight.” British troops responded with signs proclaiming, “Merry Christmas.” Soldiers recalled hearing voices rising from the frozen mists: “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! Alles schläft; einsam wacht.” When they finished singing, the other side responded with “The First Noel” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”
In the midst of this death zone a spontaneous, temporary truce was brokered between German, French, and Scottish officers. Soldiers who recently had been shooting at each other (and later fought again) used the ceasefire to bury their dead, exchange gifts, share food and drink with their “enemies,” play soccer, and even exchange addresses to write each other after the war.
Historians differ on what led to the ceasefire. But eyewitnesses from both sides reported what they saw and heard. This led to an amazing, one-of-a-kind event in the history of warfare. Subsequent orders from military high commands of both sides prohibited such future fraternization.1
Christmas Miracle, 2014
In the midst of this festive season, here’s a challenge: move out of your comfort zone and do something bold for God! Make this Christmas season a time for miracles.
For one thing, be thankful. Don’t belabor what went wrong in 2014. Praise God for His awesome power and providence (Eph. 5:20). Let your year-end thankfulness be based not on fluctuating feelings, but on spiritual obedience.
Christmas can be a time of miracles and breakthroughs. In the midst of what may be problems, pain, and conflict, determine to end this year in a position of strength. Here are a few suggestions:
- Forgive. Ask forgiveness, give forgiveness, and initiate activities of love and goodwill.
- Give. Donate to a needy cause (for example, to help stem the Ebola epidemic).
- Praise. Have a personal praise service, either by yourself or with friends.
- Excel. Practice all eight natural remedies outlined by Ellen White: “Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness [moderation], rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies.”2
- Pursue. Pray and attempt a big heavenly anointed goal (BHAG).
- Study. Continue or begin the Revived by His Word initiative by reading the New Testament.3
- Mingle. Intentionally share a meal or meet someone with whom you would not normally associate.
- Affirm. Study righteousness by faith, rededicate your life to Christ, and get a firmer grasp of the assurance of salvation.
Christmas miracles? We can reach up to God, reach out to others, and create our own Christmas miracles!
- See http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p05E_ohaQGk.
- Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), p. 127.
- See revivedbyhisword.org/user/register/.