Musings from the Manse – February 2022

I took this photo yesterday of what would be described as a moody sky. The sort of sky that changes quickly from the joy of bright sunshine to the darkness of large storm clouds bringing heavy rain. A typical day in the Lake District or even a typical hour sometimes as the weather has the unpredictable ability to catch us out, however well prepared we are. Sometimes you can see it coming over in the distance and other times even in a bright sky you are suddenly soaked by an unexpected downpour.

Often our moods are impacted by the weather, I remember as a child being fed up just sitting looking out of a holiday caravan in Crantock near Newquay waiting for the rain to stop. Similarly a great day can be instantly changed by a sudden event that can take us from the height of wonderful special moments to the depth of hurt or pain. As I have got older I am mindful of many aspects of life that may effect our mood good or bad and particularly those things that can effect our mood swings. There is a naive view that Christian’s should never be in a bad mood and always be full of the joy of our faith, which is neither real in terms of the human condition nor scriptural. That said, I wonder how you feel about the thought that we can choose our mood? We can’t control some of the difficult challenges that hit us in life but how much can we control how we respond to them? Getting out of the wrong side of bed is not an excuse for a bad mood that treats people badly.
Some will celebrate Valentines Day this month and as love comes into focus maybe it’s a good time to reflect on how love speaks into the way we allow our moods to drive our behaviour with others. Looking back on the events of each day as you go to bed, can you assess all you have done in the day through the lenses of love? Did you deal with everything and everyone through the foundation of your love and of course the love of God in Christ?
Maybe start each day in February reading Paul’s letter 1 Corinthians 13, using different versions of the Bible. These few verses from the message version might help as we reflect on whether our mood each day is based on love in how we live.
‘If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
May we live in the hope of love and the knowledge of God’s promise that he is always with us.
With love in our Lord Jesus

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