St Mary’s: Red Sky At Night

I absolutely love the sun. I am like a lizard and I always turn my face towards it. The weather can really affect our mood and the way we behave. Don’t we all feel better when the sun shines and we smile and wave and everyone seems in a better temper? There is nothing better than when the kids can run outside, we can have a beer and a barbecue in the garden and look forward to better times and the promise of summer and greater freedoms. Somehow, we feel lighter and less weighed down by our worries.

The weather can also be weird; these last couple of months have seen rain and sleet followed by glorious sunshine. Goodness knows what to wear each morning, layers on, layers off! However, there is something wonderful about May and the promise of long days in the warm.

Weather was really important in the Bible. In Israel, where the Old Testament was written, water was scarce and the dry winds could be deadly. The culture was tied to the land, it was largely agricultural, and the people prayed to God for ‘valleys that drink rain from Heaven’. Jesus introduced to us the saying ‘red sky at night’ for the next day will be fair. Christ is the gardener who will help us with our gardens, tending, growing and flourishing. I wonder if we grow in nice weather. Does our mood become more positive?

As we get older, don’t we get more obsessed with the weather? My dad always had to know what the next day would be like so we could plan our outings, our washing days or our walks.

Even our lives can be described using the weather as a metaphor. We might feel tossed in the storms of life, or dwell in the deepest seas. There is a poem I like, Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith, a line from which says,

“I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning”

People we see in our lives may think we are waving at them when, in fact, we are losing our footing and slowly sinking. I know I have often felt my nose was sticking out of the water and I am actually paddling like mad!

There is a scene in the Gospels (Matthew 8: 23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8: 22-25) where Jesus calms the storm of the sea. The disciples are afraid. They were all fishermen and used to the sea, so it must have been a wild night for them to be afraid! Jesus is calmly asleep and irritated when they wake him up telling Him in a panic that the boat is going to capsise. He chastises them, asking them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’.

Christians believe that the Holy Spirit blows in their lives; it is like a light wind or the breath of Christ. By this gentle wind, we are guided, the storms do not overcome us, there is always hope and land ahead. Perhaps we try to interpret the weather because we want and need to have control over our lives.

But as Jesus in the stormed tossed boat tells us, we must have Faith, we must Trust in the Lord and the sun will shine and there will be better days ahead for us all.

Enjoy this season of May, of new life, new beginnings and green shoots of new Faith. St Mary’s will always have a very warm welcome for you, whatever the weather!

Much love and blessings to you all, Rev Sally

The Rectory: 01473 311505

Shotley and Erwarton WI

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