“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow;” (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV)
I grew up where it snowed a lot in the winter. But cement streets, traffic, pollution, and garbage strewn about made the days gray and dingy. Even a colorful sunset often would be marred by a brown lingering haze.
One winter, things were extra nasty. A garbage company strike left streets scattered with bags of trash. Most had been ripped open by animals. Rats and roaches were everywhere. Every kind of creature roamed, making a fitting stage for a horror flick.
On a frosty afternoon, I walked home from school, counting the icicles hanging from the power lines. My breath lingered on the thickness of ice cold air. When I reached the lifeless block I lived on, I hoped a thick blanket of snow would fall to cover the dreariness.
That night it did snow, and in the morning it was if I had been given a new chance to live. Everything was white. School was closed so kids were everywhere throwing snowballs and diving into snow banks made by the plows. Some slid down the tall piles of garbage covered with enough snow to imagine they were each manicured ski runs on top a far away mountain.
I met up with friends and quickly forgot about the dirty old setting underneath. We walked the streets and hung out for hours. But as afternoon approached, temperatures warmed up and the beautiful white snow began to fade to gray and brown slush. Mountains of garbage resurfaced as snow drifts slid down into the grime. Late afternoon brought about the old neighborhood, now more depressing as ever.
The snowfall in my neighborhood only lasted until the heat came. When it was exposed to the change in temperature, it melted away. I trudged inside and wondered why the newness couldn’t stay forever.
Have you ever lived where it snows all winter? Or a place that gets just one snowfall? Maybe you are living in snow country right at this moment. If it’s winter, you probably have fresh snow on the ground. Fresh, clean, white snow. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow . . . “
Jesus shed his blood to cover all our sins. We were like that dingy old neighborhood that was transformed into a winter wonderland. But because of the sacrifice Jesus made, we can have newness that will stand the heat. The snowfall of grace and mercy is one that will not fade away when difficulties intensify.
What is Christmas to you?
I love Christmas. Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. Where some people see rude customers and annoying cashiers, I see stores filled with things that sparkle and glitter and are so much fun to look at – and possibly buy for a special someone. Where some people see cold and slush, I see snowflakes falling, mounds of white on the ground (even though I now live in Georgia, my heart belongs in Washington, which gets spectacular snowfalls each year!) hot chocolate, candy canes, Christmas lights, music, movies, and the Christmas spirit. God has made it a very special time of year for me – I look forward to it for eleven months of the year, and live it to the fullest the other one.
Where do you spend Christmas Eve and/or Christmas day?
I never vacation for Christmas – why would I want to!? We stay at home, and on Christmas eve we put our stockings out and go to bed, awaiting the next morning. When I was small, I didn’t sleep all night – now, I can get to sleep – but it still takes a while! We get up around seven o’clock, get our stockings, turn on the Christmas tree lights, and run into Mom and Dad’s room, where we jump on the bed, wake them up, and scream “Merry Christmas!” Then Dad grabs the camera while we open our stockings. After that, we file out to the kitchen where we make coffee, get out breakfast – always an assortment of breads, apple and cranberry orange with cream cheese, usually – and then settle around the living room while Dad reads the Christmas story from the book of Luke. Then, we open presents – Dad distributes them one at a time. Later in the day, the extended family gets together to exchange presents and have a good time. It’s so much fun!!
What favorite tradition does your family have?
In our stockings every Christmas, there is an orange at the very bottom. I don’t know how it started, or why, and I never eat it – but it’s there, just the same! Also, my Dad always wears his Christmas Robe in the morning. It’s black, red, and white – and absolutely threadbare, even though he only wears it one day a year. The whole morning is tradition-ridden, really!
What favorite food do you absolutely LOVE?
Oh, goodness! Food? I love the Cranberry-orange and apple bread in the mornings. And peppermint coffee, if it’s available!
Where would you spend Christmas if you could be anywhere in the world?
In Washington. Then, at least, I’d have a White Christmas instead of a brown one!
What is your favorite Christmas song?
Now THAT is almost impossible to say. I have a soft spot for the Home Alone vocals, as well as the vocals from the Polar Express. But traditional Christmas songs – the Sugar Plum Fairy is a favorite, as well as the traditional hymns and songs such as “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
What is your favorite Christmas Movie?
The Santa Clause movies, The Bishop’s Wife, and the Home Alone movies. The worst ever was a movie called, I think, “The Christmas Miracle” or some such movie. It was absolutely awful.
Share your favorite verse about Christmas.
My favorite verse about Christmas would be Luke 1:10 – “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The Christmas story is so much more than a story – it’s real, and it’s for everyone.
I am many things, but I’ll just share a few of them with you right now.
I am, first and foremost, a Christian, and have been since I was six years old. I love the Lord and am trying to please Him to the best of my ability. I am an avid reader, and lean toward fiction although several of my favorite books (the Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Blue Like Jazz, Primal, The Barbarian Way, the Soul of C. S. Lewis, etc.) are non-fiction.
I love animals, and I love music (soundtracks, Christian, Korean and K-pop, some secular music, Immediate Music, X-ray Dog, Taylor Swift, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Owl City, Hayley Westenra… the list goes on and on). My favorite movies are the Last of the Mohicans, G. I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, Inkheart, the Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Robin Hood(s), Star Trek, IRIS (Korean drama – use caution when watching), the Fantastic Four(s), the Spider-mans, Batman Begins, Iron Man, (I love Hero movies) and many, many more. (read more…)