|Posted on 2 March, 2018 at 4:40|
Let it snow!
The 'beast from the east', as the media insist on calling it, has arrived. As I write many schools in the town are closed; teenagers are in the streets, snowball fighting - just like the clergy in St Peter's Square, Rome. The news reports are full of weather and traffic updates. Everyday life goes on but it is modified to cope with the conditions. Snow can produce a variety of emotions: for some there is the joy of the snowscape; for others, delight in the fun of snowmen, sledging, and snowball fights; for others frustration at the inconvenience it causes to travel or other plans, even work; for others, particularly the elderly, fear of falling and breaking a bone, or worse.
If we lived in, say, the Alps, snow would be an every day reality for several months each year, life would proceed with little inconvenience. Bus services would continue to run and schools and businesses would not close. But we don't live in the Alps: snow only comes occasionally and severe snow rarely. It is because of the infrequency of severe snow that we have the range of reactions to it, described above. If everyday is a beautiful snowscape we begin to stop seeing it and just take it for granted. If snow is around us for months at a time we will invest in snow chains and winter tyres for our cars, and not just us but everyone in the community.
This snow has come at the beginning of Lent - a season in the church's year where we concentrate on the spiritual disciplines of prayer and bible study. Just as snow can cause us to look at the world with fresh eyes, to re-assess what we are doing and make choices about what is important and what is not really necessary so may this Lent enable us to spend some time in prayer and study, in order to look at the world with fresh eyes and listen to what God is calling us to do.