It’s easy to assume that reconciliation happens only at the end of conflict, but of course there are moments, even in the midst of war, when by the mercy of God there is a space for compassion and peace. We have all heard of the Christmas Truce in 1914; there was a more limited truce again in 1915 and, at times during the worst of the conflict, soldiers who respected one another would pause for a short while. An unidentified soldier reported: “We shouted to the Germans to come and fetch their wounded…we promised not to shoot, and a man who wore the iron cross advanced to assist a wounded man. Another followed and, amidst our cheers, they carried him off. Before going, the first man saluted and said, ‘Thank you, gentlemen, I thank you very much. Good day.’ The incident quite upset me for a time, and I wished we might all be friends again.”
As I reflect on that account of history, I ask myself where are the signs of peace in the world around us. Not just in big conflicts but in our personal relationships that have become strained or conflict filled. We may not be able, at this time, bring complete reconciliation but perhaps we can plant the seeds of peace. Christ followers are called and urged to be people of peace. Colossians 3.15 says, ‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace’.
This week as we remember the brutality of war and continue to pray for peace.. Let us also be looking for places where peace needs to rule in our own lives.