Monday, November 09, 2009

A Very British Theology for a Cold Winter's Day

This morning when Brian knocked on the door it felt like winter for the first time. The skies were clear and blue - the kind of morning I love. Good to feel the sensation of coldness. I'm glad this is a universe with colour and temperature and that sort of thing. And I don't really mind how cold it is, if it's sunny and dry...

As a quirk of the way God has arranged the clouds the British are at the whim of the jet stream and get pretty variable weather, and lacking enough philosophy or imagination we end up talking lots about the weather. This a way to get over our sometimes cold demeanor and facilitate small talk, and it's ok.

Feeling the chill in the air this tweet rang in my ears:
RT @edstetzer Just walked outside to discover that it is, once again, colder than a legalist's heart. And that is cold. ;-(
The winter can teach us about our hearts and drive us back to the gospel, as Richard Sibbes says:
"when we feel ourselves cold in affection and duty, the best way is to warm ourselves at this fire of his love and mercy in giving himself for us." (The Bruised Reed)
The cold has other spiritual uses too.
  • As I stepped outside I saw my breath for the first time this autumn, and then it was gone. As James 4:14 says - "What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes". I learn the brevity of my life.
  • And I learn the emptiness of sin, the fleeting pleasures of gain from lying are vapour also.
  • The cold also speaks of death, as the leaves fall from the trees into a season of curse that awaits the day when it will be "winter past and guilt forgiven". Creation waits (Romans 8:19) for the warmer days of new life in the Spring.

See previously Why does it always rain on me? A brief theology of rain.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Dave - I love this type of "nature interpreted by the Bible pointing to Jesus" theology.