Jesus is Your “White Christmas”

Against a Sure Winter / The Wise Trees / Stand Sleeping in the Cold

Guest Contributor / 12.29.20

This post comes to us from Jim Moore:

We had a wonderful Christmas morning at our house. My stepson made a delicious breakfast, and everyone got lovely gifts. But this year was unique because we had heavy snow flurries until late Christmas night. It was beautiful, and none of us could remember when we last saw a white Christmas. It made the day festive and added a bit of magic to everything.

I’ve been thinking about white Christmases and why we like them so much. Of course, they are beautiful. But there’s something about snow on Christmas that seems so appropriate. We hear songs about it and see art depicting it. There’s a sense that this is how Christmas should be — especially if you live in the northern hemisphere.

Snow seems, to this Southern boy, to be an announcement that it is time to stay inside. To eat nourishing and comforting things; to focus on the ones closest to you, whoever they are. The coming of snow announces that pressing and pushing life to the max must cease. There is a poem by William Carlos Williams that grasps the concept of resting in the snowfall. It’s called “Winter Trees.”

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

This notion of the announcement of rest is why snow is so appropriate for the start of Christmastide. Jesus is the falling snow on your life of striving to deserve to live in the world. In the hit-and-miss Amazon series Utopia, John Cusack plays a mad environmentalist who repeatedly questions everyone, “What have you done today to earn your place in this crowded world?” It’s a horrible question, but it has subtly become part of every part of our lives, including our churches.

Do you see the difference between Jesus’ “white Christmas” arrival and the question of Utopia? Jesus’ incarnation announces to us that he has done all of the work that must be done to earn our right to exist in this crowded world. Jesus falls into our world like quiet snow flurries over our restless streets and covers them in silence. He invites us out of the streets and into homes where warm things await and new life can start.

My prayer for you this Christmastide is that you feel the momentary weight of the snowflake of Jesus’ love on your heart. And that you know you are invited to rest in this winter of Jesus’ love with the knowledge that in that rest you may know the budding new life promised to each of us both now and forever.


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