The true meaning of Christmas

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Sub-heading: A Christmas message from Arran Churches Together

One of the most remarkable Christmas stories is the account of the British and German soldiers holding a truce on the front line on Christmas Day in 1914.

After weeks of exchanging gunfire, the ceasefire began with the singing of Christmas carols, the Germans singing ‘Stille nacht’ and then both sides singing ‘O come all ye faithful’. The soldiers exchanged gifts instead of bullets and treated each other as fellow human beings.

In this day and age, when there are so many conflicts in the world, we need to remember that Jesus was born to bring peace to the world. As the angels sang to the shepherds, ‘Glory to God on high and peace on earth.’ If soldiers fighting in one of the bitterest wars in history can meet in peace on Christmas Day, we too should have love and compassion for others.

This is the time to remind ourselves of the true meaning of Christmas, that we are all human beings, created in God’s image. We all share the resources of the world. We may not be able to do much to help the victims of conflict in other countries but we can help those who are suffering in our own community. As we enjoy our Christmas festivities, let us remember those who are homeless, those who are alone, and those who are unable to celebrate this Christmas. Let us pray that in some small way we may be able to show them the love of Jesus and bring the joy of Christmas into their lives.

Silent night! Holy night!

Christ is here, all is light,

Shadows of the past are gone

With the advent of the Son,

Born to save us all.