We are expecting snow on Christmas day. For many, this is no big deal and nothing special. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it is very rare to have a white Christmas: in my 53 years, I can recall exactly 3. The most dramatic was in 1996 when we had snow drifts over 10 feet high and were snow bound for several days. We had to tunnel into our barns to feed the animals and the drama soon became much hard work and effort.
So a few inches sounds just right. It is plenty enough.
It isn't Bing Crosby romanticism about White Christmases I'm seeking. It is the transformation implicit in a new snowfall. All appears new under a blanket of snow. The ordinary appears extraordinary and we see it with different eyes. This is what Christmas morning is about and a little visual aid doesn't hurt.
I know it didn't snow that first Christmas morning in Bethlehem. I know it wasn't even winter when Jesus was most likely born. I know none of that really matters in this commercial craziness we call "Christmas" and which bears so little resemblance to what really happened at that moment when God became man.
The carol "There is No Rose" reprinted below profoundly illustrates with a few Latin words:
A wondrous thing has happened!
God and man become equally formed, made as one.
Let us rejoice!
Let us be transformed as a result."
Today is our day for renewal--clean, extraordinary, transforming.
We're allowed to peer into the face of God...
There Is No Rose
by Benjamin Britten from "The Ceremony of Carols"
There is no rose of such virtue
As is the Rose that bore Jesu:
For in this rose was contained
Heaven and earth in a small space.
Wondrous thing. (Res miranda).
By that rose we may well see
There is one God in persons three.
Equally formed. (Pares forma).
The angels sang; the shepherds, too:
Glory to God in the highest!
Let us rejoice. (Gaudeamus).
Leave we all these worldly cares
And follow we this joyful birth.
Let us be transformed. (Transeamus).
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