The Pure Whiteness of the First Christmas
The most celebrated and most popular (record sales-wise) secular Christmas song ever written is “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin – a Jew who wrote the song from a fancy hotel located in an exotic desert paradise in California in 1940, and from a Californian perspective! The song was first sung live on Christmas evening, December 25, 1941 by Bing Crosby, a mere eighteen days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Our country did not feel much like celebrating the joys of Christmas that year – until Bing sang that song which caused people to reflect on the beauty and specialness of a snowy northern Christmas.
When Mr. Berlin wrote it, and when Mr. Crosby sang it, neither of them realized the significance of ‘White Christmas’ in regards to the birth of Christ – the truly and perfectly pure white aspect of His holy birth. Something about a baby in a manger echoes the purity of newly fallen snow. As it thaws and melts, it soaks the earth, preparing the ground for an explosion of new life each spring. The snow falls thousands of feet in silence and lands without a sound, reminding us that besides the grand choir of angels singing at the birth of Christ, the Lord Jesus arrived quietly in the truly little town of Bethlehem. The uniqueness of each snowflake reminds us of the uniqueness of each person whom God’s unique Son came to save. And just as we see the purity of the snow as it falls from the sky, who can doubt the purity of the baby born in Bethlehem – the purity of His birth and His life?
God’s Word, but especially the Book of Revelation, speaks much about the ‘whiteness’ of Christ – His purity and holiness – and the ‘whiteness’ of the redeemed children of God – washed clean and purified by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As transformed and spiritually clean children of the King, we stand before the King of kings – not only as His children and friends – but as forgiven, redeemed, sanctified, holy, pure, and perfect new creations in Christ. Again, all because of what Christ has done in us, through us, and for us!