Stephanie Rische

Stubbing My Toe on Grace

Christmas Is Coming (well, sort of…) January 17, 2012

Filed under: Winter — Stephanie Rische @ 12:08 pm
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Okay, I know Christmas is over…I finally took down the tree and (for the most part) curbed my habit of belting out holiday tunes. I was doing pretty well until it snowed, and let’s just say I relapsed.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is Over the Rhine’s “Darlin’ (Christmas Is Coming),” and every time I see the white stuff out the window, I can’t help but sing it. The song starts out less chipper than you might expect for Christmas lyrics:

So it’s been a long year
Every new day brings one more tear
Till there’s nothing left to cry

But there’s this lovely thread of redemption that runs through the song, all the more poignant for its haunting opening:

Darlin’, the snow is falling
Falling like forgiveness from the sky

If there was ever a nature metaphor for grace, it has to be snow. One moment the world is drab and brown and lifeless, and in an instant it’s transformed—clean, pure, new. And unexpectedly beautiful. Everything is covered—from hulking buildings to the tiniest twigs.

And so it is with grace. When it falls, it covers everything—from our biggest, most glaring sins to the less obtrusive ones we try to hide.

So get ready, darlin’. Grace is falling…it’s falling like snowflakes from the sky.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
—Psalm 51:7