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Staff Message - Nathan Meitner

The Christmas season of 1914 was a bit different than most. For many citizens in Europe, they weren’t having a “holly, jolly Christmas” nor did it feel like “the best time of the year”. World War I had broken out earlier that year, and millions of troops were lined up in the trenches. 

Bullets were flying. Soldiers were dying. Conditions were horrendous. Dead bodies laid in “no man’s land”, while disease spread throughout the rat-infested trenches. Families at home felt overwhelming emptiness as their fathers, sons, and brothers were off fighting. Many would be casualties of war—never making it home for another family Christmas.

Yet in the midst of all the chaos, something incredible happened. 

On the evening of December 24th, gunfire ceased near Ypres, Belgium. In the still silence of night, German and British troops began singing Christmas carols to each other across the lines. 

The next morning, German soldiers emerged from the trenches completely unarmed, calling out “Merry Christmas!” in their enemies’ native language. Realizing this wasn’t a trick, the British troops also climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. 

The men exchanged cheap gifts, played a friendly game of soccer, and sang Christmas songs about their Savior’s birth. Despite the commotion of WWI, enemies came together in 1914 for an unofficial “Christmas Truce” that is remembered still today.

As you head into this Christmas week, you might be surrounded by a different form of “chaos”—getting the house ready for company, the stress of exams, deadlines, wrapping presents, elaborate travel plans, maybe the first Christmas without that loved one.

But amidst all of it, I’d encourage you to just stop. Take some quiet time to focus on and celebrate the birth of your Savior Jesus. Take that extra moment to sing Christmas songs or listen to God’s Word with a fresh perspective as you hear about that baby boy in a manger.

That little boy is your Savior, who came to save this sin-filled, chaotic world. He offers the eternal joys of heaven to whoever who believes in him—bringing together people from every tribe and nation. My prayer is that you would take time this week to ponder just how incredible that is. And would you also pray for us at MLHS that we might do the same?

Merry Christmas to you and your family!


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