Advent snows

3 12 2012

Today began with slushy rain.  By nine or ten o’clock it was turning to snow, a wet, slushy snow, but snow.  Around the world Christians are celebrating Advent, reflecting on the prophecies and promises fulfilled in Christ’s first coming, while we anticipate his return.  By late-afternoon, this is how things looked in my neighborhood of Kiev:

2012 Kiev First Snow from Joel Swanson on Vimeo.

A friend asked, “Why do so many people love the winter’s first snow?”  Perhaps the cold windy snow gives us eyes to appreciate the warmth and cheer of hearth and home, and the company of good friends.  Perhaps its the anticipation of the coming of Christmastide.  Many of our Christmas carols reference snow, such as this:

See, amid the winter’s snow,
Born for us on earth below,
See the tender Lamb appears,
Promised from eternal years.

        Hail, thou ever blessed morn!
        Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
        Sing through all Jerusalem,
        Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Lo, within a manger lies
He who built the starry skies:
He who, throned in height sublime,
Sits amid the cherubim.

Say, ye holy shepherds, say,
What your joyful news today?
Wherefore have ye left your sheep
On the lonely mountain steep?

“As we watched at dead of night,
Lo! we saw a wondrous light;
Angels singing, peace on earth,
Told us of the Saviour’s birth.”

Sacred Infant, all divine,
What a tender love was thine,
Thus to come from highest bliss
Down to such a world as this!

Teach, O teach us, holy Child,
By thy face so meek and mild,
Teach us to resemble thee,
In thy sweet humility.

Whatever the reasons, I love the first snow.  Its a time to pause, to celebrate the goodness of our God who demonstrates his steady love from season to season, sending both snow and sun, cold and warm, day and night in their appointed times.

Lift your mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine: here’s to the unchanging goodness of our faithful, covenant-keeping God!


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