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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Of war, and silence, and the Dixie Chicks

This past Sunday I re-told the story of the “Christmas truce” of 1914, when peace spontaneously broke out and interrupted the carnage of World War I, along the Western Front in Belgium. There are some excellent online resources that explore this true story. The ones I drew on the most for my sermon are the Wikipedia article, and one from militaryhistory.com.

http://www.christmastruce.co.uk/index.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1998/10/98/world_war_i/197627.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

http://www.webmatters.net/monuments/ww1_frelinghien.htm

http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwari/p/xmastruce.htm

http://militaryhistory.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=militaryhistory&cdn=education&tm=43&gps=178_302_932_600&f=10&su=p897.9.336.ip_&tt=11&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm


I also talked about Stille Nacht, the beautiful carol known to us as Silent Night, which is part of the reality and the mythology of the Christmas Truce. There are, of course, countless websites that detail the story of the origins of this hymn. The article I found most helpful was written by Bill Egan, and first appeared in Halifax Magazine. It is reproduced at this site:

http://www.silentnight.web.za/history/text03.htm



A follow up to last week’s fifth page:
The response to my fifth page article about the choice to play a “Dixie Chicks” song as part of a sermon about Hope was quite heartening. All the people who emailed told me that they actually appreciated the song. I was encouraged to continue to take risks, to push the envelope of what “normally” happens in a sermon, and to keep on with my project of interpreting the culture in which we live.

(Not that it was a vote, but were I to count the responses I received to the sermon and the fifth page, it would be 3 votes against the Dixie Chicks, and eight in favour.)