For something completely different. Like there is a real break from 2021. And on top of it, the snow, ice, gale force winds and subzero temps. And there does not seem to be anything different from yesterday, way back in 2021. But in the Church Year, we hear Jesus fulfilling the Law, first by being circumcised and being given His name, which is part of the fulfilling the whole Law of a righteous son of Israel. He did it for you. He began His substitution for you when He was conceived in His mother, but now it becomes physical and public, as every firstborn Israelite son must be set aside as a living sacrifice to YHWH. This is the start of His life in substitution for each and everyone in history. The Church recognizes what He is to us: all humanity reduced to one person. 

Next Sunday, January 9, 2022, He is at it again: the Church commemorates His Baptism for us, and while He did not need to be washed of sin, He did this for us, substituting again for each person. It is as if He washes His righteousness off and when we are Baptized, we receive by faith this alien righteousness upon ourselves. But He receives our sin and sinfulness upon Himself, bearing our sin, accumulating it until He is raised up on a cross and punished with it all upon Himself.

All this for us, and the white snow that covers our communities symbolizes His righteousness that covers us, covers all our sin, and all His work to fulfill what we could never do on our own. And we receive these gifts from Him through faith, not by anything we could ever do to receive any of it. Forgiveness and salvation as a free gift. 

So, while waiting for above freezing temps later this week, my prayer is that you see Him at work in you daily as you gaze upon the frozen landscape. Under the snow white righteousness of Christ, you are alive, and soon the spring.

God bless your New Year.