Whiter Than Snow


I’ve been thinking a lot lately (the last month or so) about this “whiter than snow” imagery that I shared about in the last post.

It started with a “service project” our school did in early December for the refugees that take ESL classes at our church where our school also meets. The church had a Christmas program for them, and our students were able to sing hymns and recite Scripture, followed by a gospel presentation from the pastor and a time of fellowship, food, gifts, and distribution of New Testaments. I left my work to run over and take some pictures, but while I was standing there watching this amazing program, my heart was convicted, “This is not a photo op for service.”

Our school is very service oriented with a Vision to see the students propelled to a life of service for Christ. Of course, we want this to flow out of a relationship with Christ and a grateful heart to Him for what He has done for us, extending it to others. It’s not service for service’s sake. And we are dependent on His Spirit for this, as in all things. So the conviction to my heart was, “this isn’t simply a service project that you need to be photographing… this is gospel transformation happening!” I was so moved by the whole program, seeing this large room, packed with refugee students, and seeing the simplicity of the gospel and how God is working in all our hearts.

A teacher came over and asked me to run back to the office for something. I normally would take an inside route following a tunnel underground to get to the other building, but I ran out a back way, found myself in the kitchen, with the only door leading to outside. I figured I could handle the cold for a few minutes, so I stepped outside only to find myself in the first snowfall of the year. It was beautiful and timely, and the verse that came to my mind was from Isaiah 1: “come, let us reason together, though our sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow….”

This theme ran through my December, even as I looked for a gift to send a friend. Amazon popped up a book by an author I like (Paul Tripp) entitled “Whiter than Snow.” At our New Year’s Eve prayer and praise time, our friend read from Isaiah 51 during the confession time of prayer. As he read, “purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow,” those words again hit my heart: “whiter than snow.”

What an amazing thing that Jesus has done for us that we can be whiter than snow! He cleanses us from all our sin through His sacrifice on the cross, and we gain everything through our faith in Him.

At church this morning, I opened up the program to see that during communion and the “distribution of the cup,” a soloist would be singing a song entitled Whiter Than Snow. One more reminder through the beautiful words of this song of what we have in Christ and a beautiful prayer:

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and extract ev’ry stain;
To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing, I see Thy blood flow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait,
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst “No,”
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
O glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.

Refrain

Whiter than snow. Thank you, Jesus.

A Life of Service — to give LIFE

Today, January 22, marks the 26th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.

At my children’s school, the Vision is to propel students for a life of service to Christ, and our hope is that these children will ultimately engage their culture for Christ with articulate, winsome voices of truth. William Wilberforce, who led the campaign in Britain to abolish slavery, is the example that we point to for a life of service to Christ. I cannot think of an issue in our day with more striking similarities to slavery than abortion.

I’ve been thinking about what this Vision looks like for me both as a Christian and as a parent who will set an example for my children. I’ve been praying for eyes to see God’s heart on issues in our world and the opportunities He has for me to engage the culture for Christ.

I was blessed with an opportunity this last week to spend a couple of hours at the offices of CareNet. CareNet has been working for 27 years in DuPage County offering pregnancy services ranging from abstinence education in schools to emotional, spiritual and practical help to mothers of unexpected babies, both during and after the pregnancy.

The statistics on abortion are staggering. The facts are compelling. Truly God’s Word is right and true when the psalmist declares in Psalm 139, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Perhaps much like Wilberforce in his day, we as individuals, families, or even a school, might find ways to engage our culture for Christ on this issue, to see our churches become more actively involved, and to support ministries like CareNet that are reaching out to help women and men impacted by abortion, while working to save lives and show that there is hope. We could start right now with a prayer and see where God leads.