Jan 5, 2009

Oh the weather outside is frightful

It was 5 below in Denver that year. I think it was January, 1995 and boy was it cold! Our house in Littleton, outside of Denver, was beautiful but had one flaw. Whenever the temperature got really cold it blew out the valve in our hot water central heating system. In other words, when it was the coldest, our heat went out. So that cold January morning we were all huddled around the fireplace trying to stay warm.


I remember this particular cold snap because my sister had come to visit us. She spent her whole life in Phoenix and had never experienced cold like this. One thing they always say in Denver is... “If you don't like the weather, wait a bit. Denver could be warm and sunny one moment and snowing the next. It could even be sunny and snowing! But this particular cold snap lasted for over a week. We kept telling my sister it wasn't always this cold, but she didn't believe us. Being a "desert rat"  (that's what we call people in Phoenix who love the heat) she did not like the weather one bit. She never came to visit us in the wintertime again!


One of the things I was looking forward to when we moved to Denver was our first "White Christmas". Being a Phoenix boy myself, I couldn't wait for that first Christmas when our family would sit out on the back porch on Christmas Eve watching it snow while drinking hot chocolate.


It never happened.


It would snow before Christmas. It would snow after Christmas. But in all the ten years we lived in Denver it never once snowed ON Christmas. Most of the snow occurs in February, March and April. This is a warm snow and great for skiing. If only we celebrated Christ's birthday in March!


I don't know why we want snow at Christmastime. Perhaps it's because of that great movie with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Maybe it's because our fondest memories are that first snow. You know, the one where it takes two hours to find the snow suits and dress the kids - only to have them come back inside ten minutes later for hot chocolate. It's strange because Bethlehem is more like Tucson than Denver. When God came to dwell with us, it wasn't snowing. But we want snow, all the same.


I don't know what brought these memories back this year. Maybe because I heard there might be snow on Christmas Day this year in Denver. Or maybe it's because I also heard they broke a record low last week: Fourteen below. Or maybe it's because the Rincons were snow-capped this week.


But no matter the temperature outside, may the love of the Christ Child, Immanuel, warm your heart this Christmas.




Pastor David Hook

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