With winter and advent, comes snow. The temps drop, moisture in the air crystallizes and the fluffy stuff comes floating down wrapping the earth in a blanket of white.
We have come to connect snow with purity. In Isaiah, we use the white of snow as a contrast to the scarlet stain of sin. In the books of Exodus, Numbers and 2 Kings, white as snow is describes the purity that comes after healing leprosy. In other places throughout scripture, different heavenly beings are described as having robes or hair that are as white as snow.
There is little else in our metaphors that represent purity like snow. Perhaps crystal clear water, but that’s pre-snow, so it still counts. So, it is good for us to stop and appreciate the reminder that from the heavens, purity falls upon us. Little by little and unstoppable until all is covered. Nothing is as reminiscent of the Christmas season and the purity of forgiveness as a fresh fallen snow.
Something else happens with a good snow as well. Stillness. With a layer of a few inches, the world becomes quiet. For just a bit, with a blanket wrapped around her, the earth seems to rest in a silence that feels like peace. This is what forgiveness feels like. Sometimes it’s a lightness from the lifting of a burden, but others, it’s a silent blanket covering all with a weight that holds us, calms us. Like a hug that slows the heart, deepens the breath and quiets the mind.
This advent and this winter, let the snow remind you of the purity and stillness that comes from forgiveness. Let it wrap around like a blanket and hold you close to God.
And let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
VERSE: Psalm 51:7-12
7Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Prayer: O God of the snows, let your forgiveness fall and cover us with your purity and peace. Cover us like a blanket and wrap us in your love. Help us to strive for the things that do not stain and remind us that in our falling, our stains are made clean by the blood of the lamb, our savior Jesus the Christ.