Minster seems to be in a time warp (the village not the Corps!) there are no traffic restrictions here, parking is free and most people seem to walk everywhere – which brings me on to 'autumnal madness' – like the village of Minster the summer of 2009 (at least in the UK) seems to have got stuck in a time warp too. Yesterday I saw a butterfly, there are roses in the garden coming into bud, the grass is still growing and there hasn't been a day yet when I've desperately needed a coat. Although next week is November the trees are clinging to their leaves and we've yet to have our first frost. What is happening to the weather and who is to blame? Although there are still some sceptics out there who think that global warming and climate change are natural events I side with those who think they are a consequence of human activity.
The truth is we have a responsibility to protect our planet just as we have a responsibility to protect our values. Minster looks idyllic and seems to have retained some of those values yet amongst the quaint cottages is a betting shop and 5 pubs. No doubt behind the chintzy curtains alcoholics still sleep off their binges, husbands abuse their wives, children are neglected and gamblers count their losses. Appearances can sometimes be deceptive. Within a few weeks a storm will shake the leaves from the trees, the frosts will come, the fires will go on and we'll all start getting ready for Christmas.
Time marches on, the planet and our communities develop for better or worse and we make our contribution. One day time will stop for us and we will be asked to account for our lives. Those sins which are forgiven will be ignored, the time we have wasted over which we have wept with repentance will be put to one side – but the life we've lived since we last sought forgiveness will be weighed in the balance. With God appearances are far from deceptive as Paul told the Galatians "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7). As we approach Christmas and 2010 let's heed the advice of Ephesians 5:5-17 " Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
Grace and peace, A