faith is a powerful thing. and even though i'm not of the faith that is being celebrated this 24th of december, i can still feel its presence. i feel it through the knowledge that tonight, all across the world, people are coming together to their places of worship and homes to celebrate one thing; one cause. this is the eve of the birth of christ - but it is something greater than that. it can be said that it is this evening, more than any other evening, that a great collective of people pray for peace. i could swear that the closest feeling to the utopian "silent night" happens on this night every year.
in my senior year in high school i watched a documentary on the vietnam war. i learned that on the eve of christmas in 1967, miles and miles of trenched in soldiers together sang the song "silent night". i was interested to learn more about it and i came across a document on the net in which a soldier recalls his personal experience that night: "The singing came from the many thousands of North Vietnamese troops in the surrounding hills, and they were singing "Silent Night" in English! The most amazing thing was that the guys inside our perimeter joined in and sang several verses of "Silent Night" along with the North Vietnamese!" (Chris Anonymous http://storyteller.net/articles/21). in what was hell on earth all through the 60s, there was one night of true peace and unification. (music binds us)
like the soldiers in vietnam that night, i feel the comfort that this night seems to have. this the greater peace compared to all other nights. i can feel that faith.
one other thing: although i am not of the christian faith, i would like to set aside all commercialismand secular traditions (even though i previously stated, there is so much that can be drawn from the spirit of christmas) to remind everyone that this day is to celebrate that one occasion two thousand and 4 years ago: "And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord." - as told by linus in "a charlie brown christmas".
wouldn't it be so much better if every night felt like this night did?
peace on earth and goodwill toward men - every night of the year.
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