CHRISTIAN COMMENT: Just the weather for ducks

TO be fair, at this moment of writing the clouds have only just arrived.

It has been sunny – and the weekend was pretty good, too.

But generally speaking this has been a wet month.

Seriously, continuously, flooding wet. And no, we still can’t use hose-pipes.

So what’s all that about? I’m not sure.

I’m not sure whether we are simply getting back to somewhere near the annual average – which would be nice. Or whether May is meant to be wet anyway.

Gardening books from fifty years ago suggest that May used to be dry with a persistent, chilly east wind. Or what.

The certainty is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict anything – and the weather is just a good and ever-present example of that.

Maybe it’s always been like this – unpredictable – but I don’t think so.

I think there have been more clearly defined patterns of weather in this country. Take thunderstorms.

There used to be a fairly predictable pattern that, in summer, an extended period of hot weather would see the average temperature rise and rise until it all blew up into a spectacular thunderstorm.

Torrential rain and ear-splitting cracks of thunder.

The whole thing could roll around for several hours until it faded away.

This would often be followed by a clearing of the skies and a wonderful freshness in the cooled air.

The sun was still hot, though, and the ground would often steam as it dried.

I don’t think that’s nostalgia kicking in.

That was the expectation and would occur a few times each summer.

When was the last time you encountered anything resembling that pattern?

Thunder, yes, but almost randomly as a frontal system moves over.

We just don’t seem to get those build-ups of heat that you need to spark the whole thing off.

Jesus knew that the farming communities rely on weather to give a sense of structure, an overview of how life is going to pan out.

He said “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’?”

And again “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’   and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’”

His point was that forecasting correctly gives us a sense of security.

Often we think that we can read the signs correctly.

But Jesus went on the say that, even when get an accurate weather forecast, it’s not a good guide to what’s really happening in life.

Life, after all, is more than weather but reliable weather can give us a sense that everything else is OK.

It’s raining again now (yes, it is – despite all the early sunshine) but does that mean the drought will be over soon?

That the crops will grow and the harvest come in? That we’ll all be OK?

It would be a foolish person who said: “Don’t worry. It’ll all be fine.” You can only say that if you’re in charge.

Jesus says it. Because he is.

So it makes sense to listen to his forecasts.

Nigel O’Dwyer lives and works in Worthing