A Chaplain’s Christmas Message of Peace

chaplains card019“…….the greatest Universe is a world of Spirit, and it is crowded with activities of which we never dream.”

In cleaning out my parent’s home, amongst the memorabilia of their early life together was a Christmas card from the chaplain at the Mine Warfare School in Yorktown, VA, where my dad was assign shortly after my parent’s wedding in November,1943. Yorktown was their first home together, though briefly. Dad was soon assigned to a mine-sweeper where he spent the remainder of the war.

The message, typed in green ink by the chaplain on an 8 ½” x 11” piece of cream-colored paper, was carefully folded into a card with green and red Christmas bells on the front, then copied on whatever color copy machines were around in 1943. Frankly I don’t know how he did it!

Mike and I were moved and inspired by the chaplain’s words, a timeless message about true peace not coming from the material world or through war. His words, poetic, and as poignant today as when they were written 70 years ago, are even more impressive when you consider he wrote them during a “popular” world war.

I share here the chaplain’s message, that you too might find inspiration in it. Which ever holiday your faith celebrates this time of year, whatever your challenges might have been this year, Mike and I wish you true, inner peace this holiday season, and a New Year full of many blessings.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

22 Dec. 1943

Dear Friends,

It is now over nineteen hundred years ago since there appeared on the Judean Hills a special sign which led shepherds to search for the Christ Child.

That was a wonderful night in which Jesus slipped into this world. For centuries prophecy had converged towards it, and an ancient prophet had put his finger on the very town where He was to be born.  Great events have far-away roots. Heaven knew in advance of this event, and angels dipped their white wings into this night and kindled its sky into strange radiance, while they showered their song upon the pasture-field.

We have swept the heavens with a telescope, we have caught and weighed the stars, and in our blind materialism we have thought there was nothing there but what we could see.

But the greatest Universe is a world of Spirit, and it is crowded with activities of which we never dream.

Today we are almost totally engrossed in the effort to bring peace back to this Universe. We are doing it in a material way.  It is the only way our enemies can be dealt with at this present moment.  They have not chosen to trust to anything which they cannot touch with their hands.

But unless we find in life something more than mere materialism, the race which we buy with the sword will not endure.

It was for the purpose of acquainting men with the lasting peace that Jesus, the Son of God, made His appearance those long centuries ago.  He came to offer this peace to the troubled hearts of the centuries.

Since His coming many have taken His life, message, and gift seriously and found that He does actually supply a “Peace that passeth understanding” and which does enduring.

To you He offers Himself again this season as the PRINCE OF PEACE.

It is your Chaplain’s sincere desire that this season will afford for you more happiness and enjoyment than you may even now anticipate. And may the year which is ahead bring to you the attainments which will afford you the greatest pleasures.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth Peace and Goodwill toward all men.”

IMG_8117

The card is signed on the back, but I cannot read the signature. He remains an anonymous Navy chaplain.

Your Chaplain

See other holiday season posts:

Oh Tannenbaum!

Seasonal Reflections

The Turtle and The Star

(feel free to share the link to this page with others)

The Turtle and the Star

With the Solstice a few days away, Christmas nearly here, 8″ of snow outside, and howling winds breaking off trees (dashing my desire to go anywhere, until commitments demand it!), I find there is little time, energy, or focus for card sending and shopping….but I have this simple story I wrote last month.  Mike (my totally non-objective ‘tester”!) liked it, so I make it my gift to you…friends, family, readers, all of whom I am grateful for and to whom I wish a holiday season of love and peace. A short-short story, to be shared with a child, or read to the child within!

IMG_0443_2The Turtle and The Star

 “Come out, come out, see my brilliance!”

 “Go away, I am trying to sleep.”

Thus went the conversation between Little Star and Turtle.  Every night it was the same, the star wanting to show off how bright it was, the turtle pulling into his shell to shut out the starlight.

Little Star would plead and cajole.

“Pleeease…your green shell will shine like a knight’s armor in my light.”

Turtle would resist.  “It is night time, it is dark, it is time for sleep. Go away. I have no use for you.”

This last remark deeply hurt Little Star, already feeling a bit puny in a vast universe full of a gazillion stars, most far brighter than Little Star could ever hope to be.

Then one night there was a flood of light, so dazzling, it turned night into day.  The sleepy Turtle, seeing light seep into his shell, was ready to voice his usual grumpy complaint to Little Star when he noticed an immense star, far above Little Star, radiating down to Earth golden rainbows and sparkling light, making his green shell not only shine like armor, but reflect back the golden light.

Turtle’s friend Little Star was just staring, for once speechless, feeling both in awe and terribly inadequate.  This gigantic star with the golden light was not ominous, it was a warm, loving, grandmotherly star casting a steady glow throughout the heavens and over the earth.

Turtle and Little Star sat silently in the golden light throughout the night, sharing the love of this majestic star.  By morning Little Star and the Grandmother star both had faded from sight.  The following night Turtle looked forward to the golden light and return of the Grandmother star, but only Little Star showed up, a sad Little Star.

 “I will never be able to radiant such warmth, such love, such a golden light.  That was soooo awesome, but made me feel even more puny.”

Turtle felt sorry for his little friend.  He knew there was a special place for the friendly glow of Little Star, and he knew where that place was to be found.

IMG_0445After a trip to the forest, Turtle returned with a beautiful evergreen tree. The tree gave him permission to cut it down, for it had a ring of babies around it, seedlings from years of fallen cones.  The young trees needed more light than was filtering through the branches of the giant tree.  Turtle explained his plan to the tree who thought it a grand plan.

Once Turtle had the tree secure in its new home, birds decorated it with berries, flowers and IMG_0451bits of shiny bric-a-brac. Then Turtle asked his friend Bluebird to fly high as she could and invite Little Star to come down to a party.

Bluebird guided Little Star to the top of the tree, and from there its starlight shown down on all the forest animals, shining with warmth and love.

May the blessings of the season light up your life in the New Year.