I’m dreaming of a white Christmas!
Irving Berlin stayed up all night writing the lyrics for ‘White Christmas’; then in the morning went to his office and told his musical secretary, ‘Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I’ve ever written!’
Bing Crosby introduced the song in 1942, and since then it has become a 100-millions seller, recorded by well over 100 artists and bands. Bing Crosby’s recording alone sold over 50 million copies.
Living in Britain though, I have known more white Easters than white Christmases, even though it only takes one flake of snow to fall on the Met Office on Christmas day, for it to be regarded as a white Christmas.
Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, God spoke to people: ‘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’ (Isaiah 1:18).
Huge red blotches
In other words, although our sins are like huge red blotches on newly lain snow, all the wrong in our lives can be completely covered and made ‘white’ again. Now, for me that is a dream come true!
Born and lying asleep in a manger, the baby Jesus entered our world. Some people hated him then, and ever since some have reacted the same. Others came from the fields and foreign lands to worship him. The first Christmas was all about God coming into our world to deal with our separation from him, and make us pure in the sight of God himself.
God invites us to reason with him.He says, ‘Come let us reason together…’
Sadly, there are people who hate God, and use their reason to show their hatred. But for those who are honest enough to acknowledge that this world did not happen by accident, our Maker is willing to reason with us.
He will show us that no matter how much we try, we are not the people he wants us to be. Reading newspaper headlines and looking at our own lives reminds us of that. We all know that we are not as good as we should be, or would like to be.
But God also demonstrates his great love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Jesus came from heaven, to earth, to go to the terrible death of crucifixion to pay for our sin.
God invites us to be real about ourselves. He says, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet…’ and ‘Though they be red like crimson…’
None of us likes to think of ourselves as bad, let alone having ‘scarlet’ and ‘crimson’ stains of sin on our lives. But not one of us would even dare face up to God with the sins which dominate our thoughts, words and deeds.
White as driven snow
God is purer than the driven snow. Yet, like a sick patient being visited by a doctor, or someone deep in debt going cap in hand to their creditor, we may go to God for a new life, which he will give to anyone who turns to him and trusts him.
God invites us to receive his forgiveness. He says to those who come to him, ‘They shall be as white as snow…’ and ‘…they shall be like wool’.
Jesus is the Saviour. His birth in Bethlehem, his death on the cross, and his rising again, were all so that we might be forgiven. He came to save his people from their sins.
No matter how scarlet or red like crimson our wrongs may have been, if we ask him, God will wipe it all away, making us white as snow.
If you look at a red object through red glass, the object appears white. God is willing to look at us through the blood of Jesus poured out on the cross where he died, and thus not see our sins but view us as forgiven, as pure.
Christmas may be a time of dreaming, and even of snow. It is certainly a time of giving and receiving. God has given himself to us in Jesus Christ. This gift was not only for the crib and Christmas, but also for a cross where he would die.
Will you receive the indescribable gift of Jesus – of being made right in the sight of God, and then of heaven? The Bible teaches that heaven is not a reward, but a gift. Will you turn from your sin and trust Jesus Christ as your Lord, Saviour and friend?