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Does your non-white Christmas feel a bit B grade? Do prawns for Christmas lunch feel more like a cultural experiment than real tradition? It may be that centuries of European fairy tales or the middle class American dream are undercutting your confidence in the goodness of a hot, sweaty December. Well… push those feelings away and embrace the heat of an Australian Summer!
Think about it. Would you rather play cricket on the beach and have fun in the surf… Or struggle with salt and shovel on a snowy driveway getting your frozen car out of the garage? Would you rather wear thongs and board shorts or layers of thermals? No need to answer.
Yet, there’s something about a white Christmas. And it’s got everything to do with what Christmas is all about. Before Jesus was born, an angel visited Joseph and declared to him that his wife, Mary, would: “…bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
This is why Jesus came and what we celebrate at Christmas. God’s promise is that for every person casting their hope on Jesus as their Saviour, they will be cleansed from their sin.
Several hundred years before Jesus came, God spoke critically to the people of that time about their sin through the prophet Isaiah. He challenged them to stop being disobedient. But sinning is hard to stop and remove. Envy, greed, pride, lust (and everything else we’re not proud of) are like grass stains on white cotton. At the same time God also foreshadowed a time when sins that were ‘like scarlet’ would be ‘white as snow’. In other words clean! This beautiful picture is what we all need.
“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! … 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. 1:16-18)
Through the same prophet God revealed a suffering servant who would one day come and be ‘pierced for our transgressions’ and ‘crushed for our iniquities’. He was speaking of His son Jesus who took the punishment for our sins on the cross so we can be forgiven and spotless before God.
So as you relax on your Summer holiday, don’t forget to celebrate the birth of Jesus who came to earth to make us clean – whiter than snow. Embrace Jesus as your Saviour and enjoy a true white Christmas without freezing.