Monday, November 23, 2015

As White as Snow

This week the Hoosier Country Homestead underwent a bit of a transformation.  It went from looking like this (early in the month to be completely honest) ...

... to looking like this!

Over just a few hours on Saturday the landscape was changed from browns with a just a touch of green to pure white.

What do you don't see in the 'before' picture are weedy garden beds that need to be cleaned out, some garden plots that really should have been tilled, some trash wood that needs to moved to the burn pit and burned, the list goes on.  With the covering of snow, about 8" worth, none of that shows.  It's not that the things that aren't right were never there: They are and will be there waiting for me when the snow melts or when I choose to dig them out.  But with the covering of snow they cannot be seen and to those who don't go digging, the 'wrongs' can't be enumerated. 

The first big covering of snow of the year (before I get tired of plowing and shoveling it) always brings to mind music and lyrics we sing as part of our worship.  The two that come to mind are the hymn "Whiter than Snow" written by James L. Nicholson in 1872, and the more contemporary 'White as Snow" written by Leon Olguin in 1990.  I know there are many others based on the same texts, but these are the two that come to my mind.  There are two primary passages relating to being made white as snow that are familiar to many Christians: Psalms 51:7 and Isaiah 1:18.  I'm going to focus on the latter and will include some additional verses just for context.  Here God is speaking to His people through a vision given to Isaiah.  He is pleading with the people, already feeling the weight of His discipline, to turn from their evil and turn back to Him.

Isaiah 51 (NASB)

18“Come now, and let us reason together,”
            Says the LORD,
            “Though your sins are as scarlet,
            They will be as white as snow;
            Though they are red like crimson,
            They will be like wool.

      19“If you consent and obey,
            You will eat the best of the land;

      20“But if you refuse and rebel,
            You will be devoured by the sword.”
            Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

This same offer of covering of sins applies today.  Our sins are covered and we are made pure as the white snow by the blood of Jesus to all who accept Him as Lord and Savior.  It's not like my weedy life was never there, it's not as if I will never struggle with things that need to be tilled out of my life or never have to deal with 'trash' that needs to picked out and burned, but I can rest assured that when God looks at me, no matter what things are done and undone underneath, He sees purity.

But not a purity of my own doing.  Just as I had nothing to do with the 8 inches of snow that covered my homestead, I can do nothing to cover my own sin.  And just as I can never enough work enough around the homestead to make it so perfect there are no 'wrongs' to cover, I can never 'work' my way into purity.  It is Jesus who makes me pure, and I get that way through Him alone.  And just like the clean, fresh cover of snow on the homestead, there is a quiet and wonderful peace in that.

Col. 1:9-12,


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