Before we leave 2014 and the centennial remembrance of the 1914 Christmas truces behind, and as we approach the Twelfth Night, here are some final words on the subject from former Irish president Mary McAleese.
Back in October 2014, Ekklesia co-spopnsored a major debate on war and peace, provocatively entitled "Who would Jesus shoot?" As a think tank committed to practical and principled nonviolence, we are following up that event in a number of ways - social media discussion, commissioned articles and other material.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is generally considered a 'slow news' period by the media, as not much is happening (in reality of course, lots of things are happening; just not the sort of things that most editors tend to consider newsworthy). The week, however, is always livened up by the release of government papers under the 30-year rule. Government documents from 1985 have just entered the public domain.
A paper outlining moves towards a New Remembrance aimed at investing in peace-building rather than glorifying war-making has been published by the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, coinciding with commemorations of the fabled ‘Christmas Truces’.
Thanks to Ekklesia's Australian associate, Doug Hynd, for pointing us in the direction of an intriguing piece about civil disobedience at the heart of the nativity story - and from an unexpected source.
At Christmas 1914, four months into World War One, British and German soldiers on the Western front laid down their weapons. They exchanged small gifts, sang carols, buried their dead, and some even kicked a football around.