The Christmas Day Truce

On December 24, 2015, in Christmas, Courage, Heroes, History, Peace, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

No one knows exactly where it started or how it started, but for one bitterly cold day peace settled over the killing fields of World War I. Christmas Eve 1914 was, according to one British soldier, “a beautiful moonlit night.” Frost covered the ground, turning the black mud white. Sometime during the evening, somewhere along […]

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

On December 25, 2014, in Carols, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Faith, God, History, Jesus Christ, Literature, Peace, by Derrick G. Jeter

Few characters in literature are as nasty as Charles Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge . . . at least before his nightly visit of the three spirits of Christmas. Dickens described Scrooge as “a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone . . . a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from […]

“Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community”: A Book Review

On May 21, 2014, in America, Books, Culture, Freedom, Martin Luther King Jr., Peace, Politics, Sex, by Derrick G. Jeter

Wendell Berry is the preeminent thinker and writer of community and ecology in American Christianity. Like Marilynne Robinson, Berry has been embraced by not only by Christians but by conservatives as well. Which is a curiosity, since much of Robinson’s and Berry’s opinions ought to set conservatives’ teeth on edge. Some of those opinions are […]

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

On December 25, 2013, in Belief, Carols, Christmas, Civil War, Faith, God, History, Jesus Christ, Peace, by Derrick G. Jeter

Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased. Peace on earth, good will to men—this the message of Christmas. But in a world filled with wars and rumors of war the words from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s beloved Christmas carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” […]

Speeches That Made History: Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain”

Winston Churchill was a forced to be reckoned with. With bulldog like features, Churchill was pugnacious and not easily ignored. A solider and statesman, he is perhaps best known as a speaker. In an earlier article (“Churchill 101”) I described Churchill’s oratorical prowess like this: Winston Churchill marshaled words like a general marshals men. He […]

Silent Night

On December 25, 2012, in Carols, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Faith, God, Gospel, Grace, History, Jesus Christ, Peace, by Derrick G. Jeter

Fredrick William Faber, a Catholic priest and hymn writer, once remarked: “Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear the whisperings of God.” Isn’t that what the Lord tells us in Psalm 46:10: “Cease striving and know that I am God”? Christmas time is often the […]

O Holy Night

On December 24, 2012, in Carols, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Faith, God, Gospel, Grace, History, Jesus Christ, Peace, by Derrick G. Jeter

God loves the unexpected and confounding. And few Christmas carols came to us through such an unexpected and confounding route as “O Holy Night.” In 1847, a Catholic priest approached the French commissioner of wine and amateur poet, Cappeau de Roquemaure to ask him to write a Christmas poem for the church. Roquemaure did so […]

O Little Town of Bethlehem

On December 21, 2012, in Carols, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Faith, God, Gospel, Grace, History, Jesus Christ, Peace, by Derrick G. Jeter

Sitting in the presidential box at Ford’s Theater on the evening of April 14, 1865—Good Friday—President Abraham Lincoln turned to his wife, Mary, and said to her: “We will visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footsteps of the Savior. There is no place I so much desire to see as […]

The First Noel

On December 20, 2012, in Carols, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, God, Gospel, Grace, History, Jesus Christ, Peace, by Derrick G. Jeter

Few things are more filled with hope and joy than for a father and mother to announce the birth of a son or daughter. Imagine then the excitement the angels had in announcing the birth of God’s Son, Jesus—the first noel. The French word noel comes from the Latin natalis, meaning “birth” or “birthday,” but […]

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

On December 19, 2012, in Carols, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, God, Gospel, Grace, History, Jesus Christ, Peace, Salvation, by Derrick G. Jeter

The great expositor, Warren Wiersbe, said about the old-fashioned word providence: “Providence is that marvelous working of God so that all of the events in His universe accomplish the purposes He has in mind.” And God’s providence was at work in Charles Wesley’s 1739 hymn we’ve come to know as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” […]