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” ‘Snow in Jerusalem is a celebration for Jerusalemites and the many visitors who come to see the most beautiful city in the world painted white,’ said Mayor Nir Barkat. ‘We hope the snow does not disappoint – especially the children of Jerusalem who are waiting and excited.’ ” – Jerusalem Post, December 10, 2013
In Jerusalem, as in Chattanooga, it doesn’t snow much. While I’ve not studied meteorology of Israel, Internet searches show that Jerusalem gets a couple centimeters of snow every couple of years. There is excitement right now as they anticipate a small snowfall this week – which would make three winters in a row they’ve had the magic white fluff covering landmarks of three religions.
I’m guessing New Englanders or inhabitants of Minnesota don’t feel quite the same about snow as we who live in more temperate climates do. For us, snow shovels are rarely needed. If we get any measurable snowfall it is enjoyed for a few hours only before it melts away into oblivion and vanishes down drains and gives the ground a drink.
I’m picturing the children of Jerusalem in Jesus’s time, seeing their first snowfall, perhaps the only one of their whole childhood, staring in amazement as white covers dirt. Seeing how brightly the winter sun shines as it reflects off snow-covered hills. And remembering the words impressed into their minds from the holy Scriptures:
White as snow.
Isaiah 1 tells us, “Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause. ‘Come, let us discuss this,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.’ ”
When you’re white like snow, you reflect glory. The cleansing of the soul is like the rarely seen snowfall: bringing joy, almost magic. The reflected light shines bright in your eyes, almost blinding in its whiteness.
It’s Christmas and my sister got engaged and I have three tiny kids and there are so many things taking up my mind-space that I feel I haven’t attended my soul-space in a while.
I needed confession. I needed some soul snow. I need it every day and every hour, but especially right now in the midst of hurry confusion anger schedules lights bells shopping. I need quiet flurries and occasionally a blizzard.
“Come, let us discuss this,” God says. He wants us to come to Him for a chat. To have a discussion, not a time-out in the other room. No spankings, no rods; a gentle soul cleansing as we admit what’s wrong and black and ugly.
From now on, I’m considering confession God’s magical snow.