God Sends Christmas Snow, Clean and Quieting
December 23, 2008
"God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’" Job 37:5-6
Usually here in my part of Oregon there are more mighty downpours than great snows. But my brother Lance and I, who've lived here all our lives, were just agreeing that this is the most snow we've seen since 1968, forty years ago. We vividly remember sledding together at our home just two miles from where Nanci and I live.
Yesterday I took these pictures below, but it's continued to snow and more anticipated tomorrow, so it just keeps accumulating.
Now, granted, for some of you in your part of the country this isn't much, but six foot snow drifts in these parts are childhood memories—and my childhood, not my children's, because this never happened when they were growing up.
Some of you who read this blog grew up in the Portland area, or lived here for many years. You might be interested in knowing that the city of Gresham has declared a state of emergency, and police are responding to calls in National Guard Vehicles. Crazy. And, as always, the news channels here are going crazy about the "artic blast." As Nanci puts it, the "storm teams" are wetting their pants with excitement. For once, they actually have something to talk about, but they just won't stop.
Nanci and I are home, warm and happy, and our neighbors kindly brought us milk and eggs. Since two of four grandsons live right up the road from us, we've seen a lot of them in the snow. Our other two are with their parents visiting family in L.A. area. Quite a weather contrast!
I am struck with how clean the snow is, absolutely spotless and pure. And by how it is a great blanket from heaven that stills the countryside, silencing the background noise. I write late at night and when I step outside the snow seems to glow even on a moonless night. It's an awesome presence, prompting my thoughts toward the Maker and Sender of snow. "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
The Lamb of God is described in Revelation 1 as being "white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire." Snow and fire in the same image.
"Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
The blazing fire of God's holiness, the snow-clean purity of God's goodness. Christmas is God becoming one of us, in order to go to the cross on our behalf and rise from the grave, to make us clean, to redeem us, for his eternal glory.
Nanci and I extend a Merry Christmas to all. May it be for you a Christmas full of joyful noises, perhaps, but also may there be a clean blanket of quietness in which you can be still, and know that the baby, born in a Bethlehem barn, is God.