With Christmas approaching I want to celebrate the shared emphasis on peace this time of year.
A saying goes:
Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.
Christians from various traditions encourage peace at Christmas. The first example that comes to mind are examples of Christmas truces during bloody wars. It seems very strange that men will be trying to kill each for months or years, but then when Christmas day arrives they have often made peace for the day. I found this fascinating story where German and Allied soldiers met in 'no man's land' during World War 1 to shake hands and wish each other Merry Christmas: http://history1900s.about.com/od/1910s/a/christmastruce.htm
I think the shared emphasis of Peace at this time of year originates from the lips of the angels in this passage.
Luke 2:10 - 14 (NET)
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”
Christians believe Christ is a source of peace.
May we recognize that all Christ followers desire peace (at least at Christmas).
May we consider how we can work together to bring peace to each other here on earth.
John 14:27 (NET)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage."
If any other examples of Christian unity come to mind, please let me know.