Silent Night/Holy Night – Guns are silent and out of Sight

Lyle Rapacki BIBLE STUDY / DEVOTIONALS, EVANGELISM, FEATURED ARTICLES 12 Comments

Author’s Comment:  Leben is a remarkable magazine containing Christian history and biographies.  Some of the facts contained in this article come from the Leben Magazine.  I highly recommend obtaining this publication which is distributed quarterly.

trenches1-1_1
Photo courtesy of EyeWitness to History.com

British and German troops
mingle in No Mans Land
Christmas 1914

Down through time, man has attempted to dismiss God as an active force in this world especially as a force of  positive influence upon man’s heart for goodness and kindness.  Down through time, God has demonstrated to ignorant man He cannot be dismissed, and at any time, and in manner He chooses, God will demonstrate His will, His goodness, His grace, His Mighty Power – even to influence man to put down his weapons of war to embrace God’s Peace, Joy, and Majesty in the midst of silence.  The Lord God frequently has chosen to reveal Himself in situations and circumstances, thus granting man the privilege of experiencing God’s Supernatural ability; thereby, impacting a man’s heart and prayerfully a man’s soul.  Such was an incident in World War I; the “war to end all wars.”  

The “war to end all wars” is a pretty impressive title, but for good reason.  America was still a young nation in 1914 when war erupted in Europe; well at least a far more innocent nation than we have today.  Over 8,500,000 men were killed with hundreds of thousands more dying from gross wounds, poor medical conditions, and dispersing of mustard gas.  Political leaders in Germany and in England and allied nations claimed the troops would be home by Christmas, that this conflict would be short in duration with a good outcome.  But Christmas of 1914, after only months of fighting, soldiers from many countries were heart broken as they realized there was no end in sight, and no one was going home to celebrate Christmas.  But God showed a large group of combat soldiers from both Germany and England that He was still in charge, that He could not only walk on water but spread His grace and peace over “no man’s land” and in the trenches facing each other overlooking the field of battle.   On Christmas Eve in 1914, a supernatural event occurred orchestrated by God that became another example proving, along with all the biblical stories, that God moves among man and is not restricted no matter how heinous the circumstances.

During the cold night of Christmas Eve, fighting stopped and silence started.  German soldiers began lighting candles and placed them on their bayonets at the end of their rifles.  The myriad of lit candles made for easy targets but British officers gave the orders to “hold fire!”  Then other German soldiers began to lift various size Christmas trees over their heads with additional lighted candles in the branches.  If the story concluded at this point it would still have been quite a moment; no gun fire, no troops moving, no noise of combat whatsoever, no war!  Silence reigned over the battle field.  Silence quieted the hearts of combatants.  Then it happened!  With the candles and trees clearly visible, slowly a Christmas carol began and spread through the trenches on the German side.  The words were faint but clear:  “Stille Nacht!  Heilige Nacht!”  British soldiers recognized the melody as “Silent Night, Holy Night.”  The British troops started to sing joining the German soldier choir, and the melody became one.

Slowly both German and British troops laid down their weapons, came out of their trenches, shook hands and  embraced.  “No man’s land” became every man’s land that evening.  A very large campfire was lit with soldiers from both sides sitting around warming themselves, and exchanging gifts of chocolate, buttons, badges,  even rations.  And then they sang some more, and they shared photos of families and girl friends.  They returned to their trenches full of joy and chocolate, warmth and peace, and they slept.  There was peace all around and it was truly a “Silent Night, a Holy Night.”   Approximately 0830Hrs. the next morning, and by mutual agreement of the commanders, Captain C.I. Stockwell of the Royal Walsh Fusiliers fired three shots in the air signalling the war had commenced once again.

For those reading this true account, and who have accepted Jesus Christ into their life as Lord and Savior, ponder what a remarkable God we serve.  Take a moment to dwell on God’s ability to quiet hearts, to bring peace and order in the midst of chaos and even battle.  We serve a God who can still the raging seas as well as the raging hearts of combatants.  Our God is not limited by governments or political leaders who pretend He doesn’t exist.  Our God is not ancient history and therefore not relevant for the present.  The Lord God cannot be silenced no matter how many times man and his governments refuse to acknowledge Him or take steps to remove Him from schools, from malls, from government itself, and even churches.  We serve a Lord that brought recorded peace and a “Silent Night” to a battle field full of bullets, bombs and men who were not expecting the Lord to show up, much less give His peace and joy as a gift to scared, discouraged, and weary men.  

If you do not know the Lord of “Silent Night, Holy Night” but need that peace which passes all understanding and which the world cannot give, then ask the Lord who was present that Christmas Eve in 1914 to come into your heart, your life right now and make you a new person in Jesus Christ.  Ask the Lord of all Creation to come into your heart, your life now and grant you a “Silent Night, Holy Night” so you, too, may find rest from the battles in your life.  The same God who quieted the guns on that Christmas Eve 99-years ago will do the same right now for you!   He stands ready with accepting open arms no matter what you have done or how many times you’ve done it!  He loves you every bit as He loved those soldiers on that battle field in 1914.  And He stands ready to show you just as He did for those soldiers on that battle field.  

LYLE J. RAPACKI, Ph.D. is a Protective Intelligence and Threat Assessment Specialist and private-sector Intelligence Analyst. He has provided Intelligence Briefings to selected members of the Arizona State Legislature on Border Security and related threats to State sovereignty since June, 2010. He provides intelligence analysis to elected officials and law enforcement across the Nation. He further distributes articles and commentaries warning the church to the threats coming like a pack of wolves looking for that which they can devour.

Please help us to continue the fight against liberalism and the removal of God in this country. Our costs are considerable, and NO one is paid on this site. Donate today - any amount helps.

Donation options

Don't forget to follow The Olive Branch Report on Facebook and Twitter. Now available on your Amazon Kindle Device. Please help spread the word about us, share our articles on your favorite social networks.

Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of The Olive Branch Report

Comments 12

  1. πίστις

    Beautiful story Lyle…very touching actually. I had heard of this before recently in fact while doing some things for you. I really like your commentary with the story of what happened, and the idea that this same Jesus exists today and is ready and waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts.
    I’m sure these soldiers never ever forgot this evening. Wow…what a story of completely unlikely grace put into men’s hearts at a time we would think it could not happen.
    God is a God of infinite grace, mercy and love for all who will have Him!

    God bless you brother
    Greg

  2. Marianne Bernard

    What an amazing story! Only the love of Christ could bring opposing soldiers to be in peace with each other if only for a night. He alone can make your enemies be at peace with you in any situation. This message encourages my heart in the midst of the evil that is filling this earth. Christ is with us. He has not forgotten those who love him.

    Thanks for sharing this, Lyle.

    1. Post
      Author
      Lyle Rapacki

      Marianne – Your words of thanks are but another example of grace extended. You and all who write for VOL are truly a blessing in my life. What you don’t know, Marianne, and maybe not even Greg with whom I have shared several off-line exchanges and phone calls, is that I selfishly write these articles for my own purposes. I see the darkness that is still coming upon this Nation, I see the forces mounting against a truly ignorant and weakened church, and after battling in the natural with what the Lord allows me to do, I come away and petition Him to help me make sense of it all – just for ME! I write these articles not as a theologian like some on this site, or even a daily student of the Bible like you and Greg, and undoubtedly others. I write very late at night when all is quiet for just a while, and I try to make sense for ME out of the battles already raging, and that are just around the corner. I am a warrior who is still being taught to depend not on his own means, but submit to the Lord and walk in humility (trust) in Him. Marianne, you minister to my heart with your words and biblical insights. Thank you ever so much. I am humbled that you would take the time and share your thoughts. Baruch Hashem Adonai! L-

  3. Eric Raider

    Lyle, thanks for sharing this amazing story of God’s grace in the midst of chaos. We serve a God of order and He took those brave men through a situation and blessed them. And today since God is the same yesterday, today and forever, this story is one of hope and encouragement. Yeshua is our Sar Shalom, our Prince of Peace as prophesied in Isaiah 9:6. May He bring us all peace, shalom during these days. God is good- All the time. Blessings to you my friend, and blessings to our maker, our creator and savior.
    Baruch haba b’shem Adonai.
    Rabbi Eric

    1. Post
      Author
      Lyle Rapacki

      To’Da Rabbi Eric –
      ken (yes!)…Baruch haba b’shem Adonai! May the God of Av-ra-ham, Yitz-chak, and Ya-‘a-kov grant you Shalom and His b’ra-khah
      L-

  4. kKIM

    NAME ME ON PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 45 THAT HAS HEARD THAT STORY, YOU CAN NOT.
    GROWING UP OUR CLASSROOM WAS FULL OF DECORATIONS AND A GREEN CHRISTMAS TREE. WE SANG TRUE CHRISTMAS SONGS (ABOUT THE CHRIST)..
    THIS STORY AND MANY LIKE T WERE TOLD TO US BY OUR TEACHERS.
    MOST TEACHERS TODAY NEVER HEARD STORIES LIKE THIS, SO HOW CAN THEY PASS THEM ON(NOT TO MENTION IT WOULD NOT BE P.C.)
    MY POINT, OUR LORD WAS ALWAYS THE CENTER OF THE SEASON AND WE AS LIDS OM SCHOOL ALL NEW IT (BECAUSE WE TALKED ABOUT IT IN CLASS),

    1. Post
      Author
      Lyle Rapacki

      Dear Pastor Kim,
      Your remarks are all the more profound given your 35+years in the ministry sharing His grace and His words of encouragement and truth. May the peace and majesty that was present in “No Man’s Land” that night so very long ago be present in your heart today. L-

    1. Post
      Author
      Lyle Rapacki

      James –
      May the Holy Spirit lead many upon many to read your posting on Youtube. May their lives be richly blessed in doing so. Thanks for continuing to share His Word and His nature to a world that knows neither. Thanks for taking the time and sharing your posting. L-

  5. Miki Booth

    I heard this story one Christmas from my dad when I was a young girl. I’d totally forgotten. Thank you for bringing it back to my heart and mind so I may share it with others. God bless and keep you, Lyle.

  6. Pingback: Christmas Eve, 2013 | Paul R. Waibel Official Home Page

Share your Thoughts