Musing on Isaiah 1:18

“Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” — Isaiah 1:18

photoToday, my entire state was covered by a record-breaking snowfall. I spent most of my morning shoveling snow almost a foot deep out of my driveway. It was everywhere I looked — blindingly bright, especially when the sun came out. The snow was so deep over the yard that I was having a hard time remembering what it looked like normally.

I began to admire it and reflect on it. I remembered the words of David in Psalm 51: Purify me, that I may be clean; O wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Upon further reading, I also re-discovered the quote from Isaiah. It was interesting to see that snow is a standard of purity in the Scriptures. (Even in this weekend’s Gospel reading on the Transfiguration, it says Jesus’ garments are white as snow.)

Snow, when untouched, undisturbed, is pure. But, when it is disturbed, when things are added to it, it changes color – it becomes dirty. The slushy snow alongside the roadways – brown and black from the gasoline and the asphalt – is ugly compared to the once-beautiful sight it was when it first fell. Thus, snow is most beautiful when it is untainted, untouched.

imageYet, are lives are not so. Our sins and transgressions against God and neighbor disrupt and contort our souls, even as much as a muddy shovel or vehicle uglies the beautiful frosted landscape.

Martin Luther believed that our sinful nature needed to be covered by God’s grace, like snow covering dung.

Yet, our nature is good and beautiful. God made Man, and He made him good. Yes, we sin, and our sins distort our nature and our relationship with God. The snowy landscape of our soul is tainted and disturbed. In mortal sin, it seemingly melts away. God’s presence is no longer there, and we regret the impurity of our hearts and minds.

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation (and in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, also) we are filled with God’s grace once again. Our sins, though they be like muddy slush, are washed away and a new, pure snowfall of God’s Grace and Life returns.

Yes, no one on this Earth, presently, is perfect. The ‘snow of our souls’ will be disturbed and tainted by our sins, but that is why we must seek God’s Mercy and Forgiveness so readily in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.image(1)

We must ask trust in God to purify our hearts once more with a splendid volley of snow-like grace; that our souls may be as serene, pure, and beautiful as an immaculate, wintry landscape.

“Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” — Isaiah 1:18

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