We didn’t need a snow dance this year; the snow just came and we rejoiced. We’ve been known to have a little fun with snow rituals in the past, though, especially when January ends and we haven’t seen a flake yet.
My kids have worn pajamas inside out before and flushed ice cubes down the toilet. Snow dances have been danced.
And then there’s the mysterious ritual, one we can’t quite figure out so we’ve never tried–placing a spoon under the pillow. Who knew?
We love snow days.
Even I love them, despite the fact that I prefer snow when it is outside and I’m inside.
I love them even though at least an hour of my day is spent suiting my children up in layers of clothes, finding missing gloves and snow boots that fit, zipping up coats, and more. Then I send all the children out, knowing I’ll just be unpacking them from all those layers soon and then serving up hot chocolate and sugar cookies.
I love the snow the most when it’s smooth and untouched, gently falling in the darkness of night. I flick on the porch light and stand a few minutes at the back door with my fuzzy socks and my mug of strong, hot tea.
I stand and marvel at the peace of it., this quiet covering over the world with white.
I like to pause just for a moment before noise and the busyness sweep me right along again, just pause and give thanks and marvel at this: Christ covered us in the blanket of His righteousness. He made us white as snow.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow
They used this hyssop (the ezov plant) for ritual cleansing in Israel–for purification and the ceremony to pronounce a leper healed and made clean again.
David reminds us that the action is God’s, not ours. We don’t cover ourselves with hyssop or dip ourselves down for a cleansing. We are not our own healers.
This is God at work. This is the beauty of His grace.
Isaiah tells us this also:
“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 like crimson,
they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18 ESV).
This forgiveness, this overwhelming grace, is God’s work by God’s invitation.
Our God is an inviting God. He invites the thirsty to COME and the weary to COME and the brokenhearted to COME and the children to COME.
And to the sinners, He says COME.
Not, come when you’re white enough, clean enough, holy enough. Not come when you’ve merited salvation or proved your devotion through enough righteous acts.
He says, “Come. I’ll make you white. I will do it. And you’ll be white like the whitest snow, pure like the purest wool.”
We’re self-condemners so often—buying into Satan’s lies when he tells us we still deserve punishment for those sins of ours. The Enemy likes to remind us how unworthy we are. He likes to shout accusations in our face and beat us down with our past and present failures.
He simply says, “Come. Come and let me do the work of grace for you.”
Paul wrote to the Galatian church:
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose (Galatians 2:21 ESV).
Nullify God’s grace? Destroy it? Treat it like nothing?
What could Paul mean?
Nullifying God’s grace is what I do when I reject God’s invitation to come.
I’d never say these words, and yet isn’t this what I’m doing when I demand perfection from myself, when I beat myself up over mistakes, when I let shame hold me hostage?
I’d rather keep the law. I’d rather bog my soul down in endless rules and regulations and then beat my soul down when I fail to be perfect (which is inevitable).
Thanks for grace, God, but no thanks. I’d rather wear this label:–SINNER –instead of accept my new identity in Jesus– FORGIVEN.
Oh, this is what I say without realizing it: Jesus, the cross simply wasn’t enough. My sin is too much. You died for no reason.
So the snowfall covers over the lies of Satan and the legalism and that old bully perfection. The snow covers over religious pride and self-righteousness. The snow covers shame and self-accusation.
And the snow reminds me that it’s all grace. Amazing grace. Jesus did the work once for all, and now we’re covered in the snow-blanket of His powerful, cleansing grace, a grace that is indeed “greater than all my sin.”