World War I was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. New weapons were used in old-style combat. Enemy forces dug in right across from each other and then tried to blow each other to kingdom come. But it was quiet on Christmas Eve 1914, because one side decided to decorate its trenches for Christmas. The other side did the same. Before long the men were meeting in no-man’s-land singing carols, exchanging souvenirs, and wishing each other a merry Christmas. Then the fraternizing ended and the hostilities resumed.
We commemorate the very first Christmas truce by kneeling around a baby in primitive Pampers because we believe he is the Prince of peace. Of course, he brought peace between us and God. Absolutely, we give glory to God in the highest for that in itself. But what about the rest of it? Can’t we make the Christmas truce last a little longer? Can’t we sustain the miracle of Christmas another day or two? We won’t need to stockpile ammo if we are looking to make peace, if we are praying for peace on earth and expressing goodwill toward others because of the Christ Child. The angels weren’t just being sentimental because it was Christmas Eve when they sang: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). They were declaring the transforming effect Jesus can have in our hearts and in our world.
So maybe the guy who leaves his Christmas lights up all year round isn’t just too lazy to take them down. Maybe he is declaring a truce.