One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Christmas in the Trenches” by John McCutcheon (see video below). As a young adult around this time of year, one of my sisters or I would ask to hear it, and my dad would alternately fast forward and rewind the tape he had the song on until it was found, and we would silently listen to it. I’m sure there are political undertones that could be taken from the lyrics, but that’s far from what I take from it. As I’ve listened to it this year through the gift of YouTube, I’ve thought of two things:

  1. It has reminded me of the many men and women who are away from home this Christmas, and even those who have met the same situation in times past, serving in the armed forces. I am thankful for them and their families and the sacrifices they make on my behalf, and I pray for their safe return.
  2. Christmas is truly about God sending Jesus to bring peace on earth by crushing the power of sin and death, which he has. And yet that peace will be fully realized when Jesus returns a second time to set all things right and rid the world of sin once and for all. May we long for the glorious second coming of Jesus as we remember his humble first coming.

1Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
4But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
5Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.
6And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
7Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:1-9

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