Christmas and the Great War 1916

The end of the war is not in sight, and it must needs be with a heavy heart that that fact is faced. But I am sure we all feel that a statement like that must be immediately followed by a “but ” – but Christmas is at hand, to rally us all to listen to its Message of Hope. The Christmas bells will ring out just as confidently as ever, for they summon the followers of Christ to pay their homage to the Warrior on the White Horse Whose Name is Faithful and True. He is the “Beloved Captain” in Whose eyes we read all the tenderest love and understanding of those who follow Him in the way of sorrow, and by a path cut down deep by suffering, and fighting every inch of the way, which is His way. And as we look more steadfastly with the eyes of faith into His eyes, we see there the glorious certainty of final and complete victory. Even now there are some spoils to lay at His feet, for men and women, boys and girls, and little children, are learning to see more clearly-even if the vision is lit up by tears-the beauty of Righteousness, Truth, and Self-Sacrifice, love of what is loveable, and compassion for what is pitiful; and the volume of desire is growing in our midst to spare nothing, to stint nothing, to give everything, if only His cause may triumph. The end is not yet; our desires are still too faint, our efforts still too weak and intermittent, our faith too dim, our prayers too feeble, our trust too little trusting, and yet we know at the very bottom of our hearts that He is Faithful and True, and that He has His victorious purpose completely in hand, and so we may follow Him with brave hearts and wills made strong by the capacity given to us of making them one with His Will.

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