And on Earth Peace

And on Earth Peace

Chirstmas message from South Sudan

No matter where one is in the Christian parts of the world, Christmas is a special time for families to get together, a time to set aside any disagreements and to celebrate the sharing of life together. I have often reflected on the story of Christmas eve at Ypres in Belgium in 1914. German troops on one side, and British soldiers entrenched on the other, began singing Silent Night in their own languages. Eventually, soldiers emerged from their trenches and met in "no man's land", setting up a Christmas tree and exchanging gifts such as cigars, jam and whisky. No shots were fired. This was a moment of Christmas peace when the human spirit rose above the conflict that engulfed them.

Alfred Anderson, last survivor of the original Christmas Truce, died in 2005, aged 109. The truce has been depicted in three movies: Richard Attenborough's "Oh What a Lovely War" (1969), "Snoopy & The Red Baron" (1999) and "Joyeux Noel" (2005).

We hope and pray for something similar in South Sudan. Peace in the hearts of individuals can rise above the hideous conflicts in which they are embroiled. People of different nationalities, or coming from different ethnic groups, may have some differences but they have far more in common. There is a longing for peace among the South Sudanese people. We pray for leadership that will enable peace among the people rather than continue the futile fighting occurring in parts of South
Sudan.

Br Bill

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