Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? For many it just doesn’t seem like Christmas without at least a little snow. There is nothing quite like the calm and quiet which descends after a heavy snowfall. A fresh blanket of snow covers everything with dazzling white purity, and creates a sense of peace and well-being. No wonder then that one of the best selling songs of all time is “White Christmas.”
Did you know, though, that God predicted a white Christmas? Joseph didn’t have to shovel a path to the stable in Bethlehem and the shepherds didn’t trudge through three-foot drifts to see the newborn Baby. The climate of Israel is more like Phoenix than Minneapolis. Nevertheless, it was a white Christmas. Nearly 1,000 years before the angels sang of the Savior’s birth, God spoke through Isaiah: “Come, now, let us reason together . . . Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Is. 1:18).
To make this miracle a reality, God sent His Son: conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus truly makes our Christmas “white.” He came to calm and quiet the harsh accusations of our guilty conscience. As you wrote out Christmas cards, did you feel bad because you should have written Aunt Margaret long before now? Or you really had wanted to visit Grandpa, but somehow it just never happened? Our conscience reminds us that we are not the people we ought to be. Self-interest all too often interferes with loving and serving God and one another as God’s Law commands. Guilt ringing in our ears quickly drowns out joy. But then remember Christmas. Jesus came to quiet guilt by taking every bit of it upon Himself. He didn’t come to condemn us for our sin. He came to be sin for us.
Jesus makes our Christmas white by blanketing us with the pure whiteness of His righteousness. Our best efforts at measuring up to God’s holy standards are contaminated by sin. They are more like filthy rags than fresh snow. But Jesus was born as the God-Man so that He might live under God’s Law in our place and give us His perfect righteousness as our very own.
Jesus makes our Christmas white by giving us perfect peace with God. our inborn sin makes us mortal enemies of God deserving of eternal separation from Him in the fire of hell. But Jesus came as the Prince of Peace. He won peace by His holy life and innocent suffering and death. His peace is our peace now by faith. In Christ all is well between you and God. He couldn’t be happier with you. Things couldn’t be better!
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Here in the desert Southwest there won’t be snowflakes in the air Christmas Eve and we won’t wake up to a fresh blanket of snow on Christmas morning. Yet that really won’t matter. The birth of God’s only-begotten Son means we’ll still have a “white” Christmas in the very best possible way.
That’s no dream!
— Pastor Michael Eichstadt