The Sawi cannibals of New Guinea were some of the fiercest tribes ever discovered. When Canadian missionaries and translators, Don and Carol Richardson, went to work among them, they knew it was a dangerous endeavor. As they shared the love of God, the Sawi, who practiced treachery, thought Judas was the hero, not Jesus. And although the Sawi were fascinated by the foreigners, they continued their savagery without remorse. Finally, fear and frustration made the Richardson’s decide to leave.
But the Sawi leaders loved the medical help the Richardson’s had brought. So when they learned of their plan to leave, they said, “If you will stay, we promise to make peace in the morning.” The next morning, the two hostile groups positioned themselves on either side of a clearing. Finally, one man picked up his infant son and walked across the meadow. The father presented his baby to the chief of the enemy clan as a gift, and said, “As long as this Peace Child lives, there shall be peace between us, not war.”
Don and Carol watched in awe. Suddenly they realized they had found a door for the gospel. This time, they told the Sawi of the heavenly father who gave His son as a “Peace Child” to earth. Now the Sawi understood.
Judas was the worst of traitors to betray such a gift, and Jesus was the hero. Hundreds of once-warring cannibals received Christ, and their tribes remain transformed to this day.
To a world that considers God an enemy, and fights each other, Jesus is God’s gift of everlasting “peace and goodwill”. This is the message of Christmas, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”