This advert was one of those ones that really got to people wasn’t it. It was the centenary of the start of the First World War, and so the events of this Christmas were on people’s hearts and minds; it is no wonder that this advert caught people in deep inside. It is pretty beautifully done.
One of the readings which is often read at Christmas time is from the prophet Isaiah chapter 9. “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace.”
This is what the Israelite people longed to hear and longed to experience. Endless peace, being ruled by someone who was for them, with authority on his shoulders who would be the prince of peace. They were an occupied and persecuted people, and at the time of Isaiah’s prophecy an exiled people, so this was welcome news. A day would come when the fighting, bloodshed and violence would be over and peace would reign. This day would be heralded by the birth of a person.
Now while Jesus’ birth didn’t necessarily equal an end to all wars everywhere, not even for the Jewish people. For those who chose to pay attention to his birth, who knew him as the son of God and followed in the way of the cross, there is a promise of peace, a promise of peace that has lasted thousands of years.
It was this peace that united the English and German soldiers on no-man’s-land in France in 1914, just for one day. Their shared knowledge of one person brought peace for a day. It is this same person that can bring us peace in our own no-man’s-lands this Advent and Christmas, for more than just one day.