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Snow, Jesus, and a New Year

“Come now, let us argue it out. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow.” (Isaiah 1:18)

Hello Gloria Dei,

A photo memory popped up on my phone yesterday. It was from exactly one year ago. It was a picture of my back yard. Guess what? I saw green grass with just a couple of small patches of snow. What a difference a year makes.

For all the snow lovers out there, 2023 is off to a great start. Snow skiing. Snow shoeing. Sledding. Snowman building. I have to say that with all the shoveling and snow-blowing over the past few days, I haven’t needed to get to the gym. The roads wouldn’t have allowed it anyway.

I do love the beauty of the white snow, especially with the sun shining as it was yesterday and is partly today. I’ve even broken out my sunglasses while driving, with the sun gleaming off of the white snow. And we certainly do need the moisture. We have reason to give thanks to God.

One of my favorite books of the Old Testament is the book of Isaiah. Within Isaiah, there are so many beautiful passages. Some shed light on the coming Messiah. Others bring instructions about following God and God’s ways. Still others bring comfort and instill a confidence to move forward. I even chose a passage from Isaiah for my ordination into ministry service many years ago now (Isaiah 43:1).

Isaiah begins in chapter one with a great courtroom scene, complete with judge and witnesses. In the courtroom, God’s people are shown to be guilty of breaking the covenant, or law. Yet how will God, the judge, ultimately rule?

God, the judge, gives his verdict. And the verdict is FORGIVENESS.

My favorite verse in this whole chapter is Isaiah 1:18. God says, “Come now, let us argue it out. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow.”

That brings us to Jesus the Messiah, the one promised and foretold in Isaiah. Jesus is the one in whom you and I have forgiveness. Because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross and in the resurrection, and through faith in him, our sins are forgiven. Completely!

So, dear friends, as you see the snow glistening out your window today, and as you feel your sore muscles from shoveling, let it be a reminder of God’s great love for you. Because of Jesus, your sins are forgiven. Though your sins and mine are like scarlet, they shall be like snow. God’s grace declares us pure again.

As you begin a new year, 2023, soak in the good news of God’s love for you. Like the fresh snow on the ground, God’s grace gives a fresh start, not only in a new year, but each and every day.

Give thanks to God today for the change of seasons. Give thanks to God today for your life. Give thanks to God today for the new and fresh snow. And give thanks to God for the gift of forgiveness.

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow.

For this week in worship, we continue our reading through the New Testament. Currently we are in the gospel of Luke. Please read chapters 9 through 12.

See you in worship,
Pastor Tim

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