Silent Night Hope

May 19th, 2009

cabin-in-woodsIt was a cold winter in 1944 when three American soldiers, embroiled in the battles of WW II, stumbled across a cabin in the German woods. Tired, cold and hungry, they enter the cabin to find a woman and her son alone, scared and yet calm. Despite the language barriers, she makes them as comfortable as possible, demands they set their weapons aside, and sets about preparing what little food she has for them.

Suddenly, there is banging at the door. The Americans freeze.

The woman calms them and moves towards the door. There, in the freezing cold and depths of snow, three German soldiers stand and demand entrance to her house. Under decree of the feurer, they have the right to overtake any residence they have need of and they proceed to exercise that “right.” She stops them and demands that they too lay down their weapons. They hesitate but soon relent, lay them aside and enter, only to find their sworn enemies already occupying the house. Tension results and the stage is set for high drama.

Great Movie. Silent Night. You should see it.

But the thing is……it really happened. You see, it was Christmas Eve, 1944 when these soldiers met on that snowy night deep in the German woods. How unlikely that is to have happened is probably not beyond the realm of calculations of probability, but what happened after that, without humanity, could never have been thought of except in the script of a movie.

With weapons laid aside and the thoughts of Christmas, the meaning of it all, the longing for home, love, friendship, connection and the need for something more than death, killing and the gaining of a few pieces of ground here or there, they found a reason outside themselves to come together and celebrate Christmas together.

Yes it’s a Christmas story. But it’s also a story of Hope. It’s a story of belief in something, something greater than hate, and in Someone, Someone who is greater than all the terror and horror they had all witnessed which caused them to set aside all the hate they had for each other and allow the love of Christ to connect them, even if for just a single night.

Any of you who have served in the military, know the difficulty of being away and the intensity of emotion that comes with the losing of a brother or sister in arms. These men had seen the horrors of war, the destruction it causes, the devastation that it leaves in it’s wake and they experienced the great loss of friends and families. This was their homeland! They were fighting a war on their own soil in an effort (no matter how misguided and wrong it was) to save their nation. Right there in a house they had three invaders. They all wanted to kill each other. But God…..

Those men’s lives were changed and we have a story of hope that applies even to our lives today. It’s Christ that makes the difference in all of us; for all of us. When we stop focusing on the issues we have to deal with, and the causes we think we are justly fighting for, even if its war, even our sworn enemies become …. worshipers?….together with us. We unite together and Christ’s love conquers it all. He died so that we can live. That we can have life and have it more abundantly. This story tells that truth in a beautiful way. Once you and I focus on Him, everything else pales in comparison; including life and death.

We have this story of Hope from soldiers whose lives will never be the same. So this week we remember them, and we remember Him.

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One Response

  1. Anonymous Says:

    awesome, ….truely awesome…..

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