Deacons Note

Dear Adventurers!
Let me share a story about “Silent Night”, upon which our Advent worship season is based. “On Christmas in 1914, somewhere in Belgium, soldiers laid down their weapons and commemorated the holiday. According to the story, a German soldier, huddled in his trench on Christmas Day, began singing “Silent Night” loudly enough for his British enemies to hear. “Silent Night” had been written on Christmas Eve almost 100 years earlier by two Austrians, Franz Gruber and Father Joseph Mohr and was, even then, a beloved holiday carol. The German soldier was soon joined in his song by British soldiers. Trench to trench, in German and in English, they sang together. This chorus among the enemies continued until British and German soldiers emerged from their dirt bunkers – trusting each other with their lives. These would be the last hours some would spend without fear for a very long time. It would also be the last music some would hear before they died, simply because it was Christmas Day.” 

Garth Brooks wrote an inspiring song about this day called “Belleau Wood.” The last lines are:
“But for just one fleeting moment              The answer seemed so clear
Heaven’s not beyond the clouds                 It’s just beyond the fear.
No, heaven’s not beyond the clouds           It’s for us to find it here”.

I think Garth captured something wonderful with these words. Fear is the great limiter. Fear of vulnerability, fear of the unknown, fear of otherness. Fear can also block our view of heaven. This Advent season, I hope that heaven is within your reach. It’s clear that the hope and song of Christmas were enough to unite enemy soldiers 100 years ago. May we be united in faith as we sing the songs of hope and the anticipation of God with us. Blessings!

Deacon Bonnie LeValley