Fake Snow

Contributing Writer
Rev. Dr. Scott D. Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church, Amherst, NY

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving I went to a year-round Christmas store for fake snow and was told I was too early. They said it wasn’t the season yet and that I’d have to come back… tomorrow.

Let me repeat that…

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving I went to a year-round Christmas store for fake snow and was told I was too early. They said it wasn’t the season yet and that I’d have to come back… tomorrow.

(Before we continue, please consider the following facts…

Real snow had already fallen.

Christmas decorations have been up in stores since September.

Christmas decorations certainly ought to be available the week of Thanksgiving.

Christmas decorations should always be in stores called “The Christmas Decoration Store”.)

Sensing my confusion, the store employee clarified that they had the fake snow and that I was ironically standing directly next to it – it was just still in the box and not on the shelf yet. I asked (politely, I promise) if there was any reason, they couldn’t just open the box so I could buy it. One clerk said yes; the other said no. And thus began the longest 10 minutes of my life.

I waited awkwardly while the employees huddled up to discuss my seemingly outlandish request. Managers were called in. I assume someone called corporate. In the meantime, the snow was removed from the box and presented to me with the caveat that they weren’t sure if I could purchase it or not. In the end the original clerk relayed their decision:

You can buy the snow.

What (you may be wondering) does any of this have to do with church or faith. Maybe nothing. But for my part, I felt in that uncomfortable situation, the experience of Advent. See in this sacred season we are waiting for that which is already here. We look for light and life and peace and joy on the horizon. We expect these things to arrive later. We hope to possibly, quite literally, unwrap it in just a few weeks. And many times, we don’t realize that what we long for is already here… right next to us.

Sometimes it is concealed.

Sometimes we just don’t see.

Sometimes the world tells us we can’t have it.

But you can. You can buy the snow. And, you can have what is promised on Christmas today. Light is your gift today. Life is yours now – breathe it in and breathe it out. Peace can be experienced even in the less than wonderful times of the year. Joy to the world can be sung (should be sung) on the darkest nights.

After his conversion, Ebenezer Scrooge makes a promise. He doesn’t promise to celebrate Christmas every year or to be generous only on that day. He promises to honor Christmas in his heart and try to keep Christmas all year long. Now, that isn’t equivalent to looking for fake snow out of season. But it may be equivalent to expecting light and life today, tomorrow, and all the year. To opening God’s gifts daily and being God’s gift daily too.

Love has come. | Love is present. | Love will come again.

In the Way,
PSDH

For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.