White Christmas; The Purity of Baby Jesus
- Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Christmas Day 1941, eighteen days after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. People found it hard to celebrate the "peace on earth, good will toward men" that usually brought comfort and joy during the holiday season. A day of pure celebration turned into one of dark despair.
And then on Christmas night, Bing Crosby sang White Christmas for the first time. In minutes people forgot the tragedy and their minds drifted into the beautiful lyrics reminiscing about a snow white Christmas.
Whether in a muddy foxhole in Europe or a modern family room in American suburbia, nothing says "the holidays are here" like White Christmas. Those words bring Christmas images to mind. A fire flickering on the hearth…the twinkle of lights on the tree…the aroma of sugar cookies….
The "white" in "Christmas" evokes so many seasonal memories. Snow evokes so many images that speak of the true meaning of the Christmas season.
Something about a baby in a manger echoes the purity of newly fallen snow. As it thaws and melts, it soaks the earth, preparing the ground for an explosion of new life each spring. It falls thousands of feet in silence and lands without a sound, reminding us that Christmas is a time to block out the noise of the world for at least a day. The uniqueness of each snowflake—scientists tell us no two snowflakes are alike—reminds us of the uniqueness of each person whom God's unique Son came to save.
Snow reminds me of the One whose birth we remember each year. Can anyone doubt the purity of the baby born in Bethlehem—the purity of His birth and His life? When Daniel the prophet saw the Ancient of Days, Daniel described His garment to be white as snow (Daniel 7:9).
A snow crystals' large number of reflective surfaces give it a white appearance as it reflects pure light. It is because He is pure that Jesus Christ can make us pure. After the heart of King David had been strained by the blackness of sin, he cried out to God, "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7). His prayer was answered because the God of Israel had promised His people that He would take their scarlet sins and make them white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
Like snow, Jesus brings new life. As "the snow from heaven…so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10, 11). By the Word which comes afresh to us at Christmas, we are saved and made whole: "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord," a Savior who will "save His people from their sins" (Luke 2:11; Matthew 1:21). The life-giving snow of Christmas speaks of the life-giving Savior of Christmas.
The day is coming when all the earth will keep silence before Him. Even now, "The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him" (Habakkuk 2:20). Jesus was born into this world to be judged in our place. Rather than being silent in fear of judgment, we are moved to silence at Christmas because of God's unspeakable Christmas gift.
God alone is God—there is no other (Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 23:13). And "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). The uniqueness of every Christmas snowflake speaks of the uniqueness of our God and His "one and only Son" (John 3:16). Without Jesus, there would be no Christmas.
My prayer is that your days will be "merry and bright" because the radiant light of the King of kings has filled the manger of your heart, causing you to meditate on His purity, new life, silence, and uniqueness.
Whether you have snow or not, when you celebrate the One born to live, die, and come again for us, you'll have a White Christmas.
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