Saturday, December 12, 2009

White as Snow

Snow fell this past week in Lancaster, PA. It glistened on the branches and hedge in our front yard. Drifted deep over the field across the road. Covered over the unraked leaves and brambles along the creek bed behind our house. Sparkled back the reflection of Christmas tree lights from a window. With candles in windows, wreaths on doors, Moravian stars twinkling a welcome from porch eaves, and the occasional Amish buggy on the road, it is as beautiful as a Thomas Kincade painting. This isn’t our first snow since moving from Miami and points further south to Lancaster, PA. We’ve had flurries and a couple good stick-to-the-ground snowfalls in the last three years. But it usually comes in later January and February, not during the Christmas season. I am a tropical bunny with a firm conviction that if humans were meant to live where that cold, wet stuff falls from the sky, God would have created them with fur. Accustomed to lush greenery and lighted palm trees at this season, it has been hard to see any beauty in a northern Christmas with its desolate, barren landscape and raw, icy winds.

Until snow fell.

The unnecessary extravagance of it is what boggles imagination. In the darkest, dreariest season of the year, God takes the effort and some frozen H2O, transforming dead, brown earth to pure, sparkling white. And for no crucial reason or scientific necessity that I can see—except to delight His creation with its sheer beauty.

And perhaps as an illustration of just what this Christmas season is about. In the darkest, deadest winter of human desolation, God stepped into our world, and through the coming of Jesus Christ blanketed the ugliness of our sin and despair with the pure, clean beauty of God’s love and mercy and redemption. As Isaiah tells us in chapter 1, verse 18, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.’ That’s the true promise of Christmas.”

Wherever you are living at this time, whatever climate--whether green or brown or white--you may be enjoying, may God's ultimate gift, His Son Jesus Christ, shine joy and love into your hearts in this season of thanksgiving and celebration.

Merry Christmas!