In his book Christmas 1945, Matthew Litt tells about the first peacetime Christmas celebration in the US after World War II. The New York Daily Newsalerted readers to expect a fleet of warships in New York Harbor: “Christmas Day will find a mighty armada, consisting of 4 battleships, 6 carriers, 7 cruisers, and 24 destroyers.” But instead of waging war, the military ships hosted 1,000 needy children
The children’s measurements had been taken previously so that perfectly fitted navy-blue coats and woolen caps would be gift-wrapped and awaiting them aboard the ships. These vessels of war had been transformed into carriers of compassion.
The prophet Isaiah predicted a future day of Christ’s reign of peace on this earth: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (2:4). Christmastime serves as a reminder that the Prince of Peace will ultimately bring a time of global calm and compassion.
As we celebrate the first coming of the Prince of Peace and wait for His second coming, we are reminded of our privilege to serve as His “carriers of compassion.”
True peace comes from the Prince of Peace. (RBC)