Waking up Thursday morning was a thrill, as snowfall had already begun its descent upon Jerusalem. What started as a gentle snowfall steadily picked up momentum and turned into a full-on snowstorm, transforming Prophets Street into a frozen parking lot:
Local newspapers called it the “worst snow storm in Jerusalem in decades,” with most estimates saying we received more than a foot (30-50 cm) of snow, as the grounded Shevet fleet of vehicles bore mute witness:
So our Shevet staff relocated our morning meeting to a local coffee shop!
Over our steaming mugs of hot chocolate, sahlab, and cappuccino, we dedicated our white Christmas morning the Charlie Brown way, with a reading of the birth story as told by Luke:
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told” (Luke 2: 8-20).
It was hard to contain our joy over the snowy atmosphere, and we found ourselves singing Christmas songs on the street, such as “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and even “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
This takes a little more courage when you’re living in Jerusalem!
Back at home, our Kurdish guests delighted in the snow just as much, taking to the roof for a snow fight and building a snowman.
We also discussed together the beautiful references to snow in Scripture:
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).
Thanks for sharing in the fun with your family in Jerusalem!: