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IT'S SPRING!

What a joy! Longer days, stronger light, the first signs of green in the hedgerows, the blackthorn in blossom, and banks of daffodils in Swinbrook, the village where we worship. The long weeks of cold and gloom are over, and we can look forward to warmth and growth and sunshine.

A friend has told me about a web-site called weatherwithouttechnology.co.uk. It is the work apparently of a retired Kent policeman, David King, who has spent his (outdoor) life recording the daily weather patterns over many years and preserving traditional country sayings that forecast the seasons. His forecast of the recent very cold and stormy week from 6-9 March was uncanny. He is probably as good as anyone at anticipating the weather pattern more than a day or two ahead. Look and see before booking your summer holiday!

I am interested that David King, while not being an outright ‘denier’ of climate change, is sceptical of the evidence, as least as it applies to England. So, he is not anticipating another summer of wild-fires and extreme heat in this country. Apparently, he has been approached on various occasion by the BBC to take part in discussions about the weather but has been ‘cancelled’ when his scepticism about climate change has arisen. Whatever the truth about these long-term changes in the world’s climate, and the causes of them, there is no denying that the BBC, on this issue as on several others, is anything but unbiased.

So, let’s just get on and enjoy the present signs of spring with all its promise of better days to come.

And oh! let’s pray for a spiritual spring-time as well. Our country (and the BBC) is so desperately lost, spiritually, morally, and practically, and there is no hope in merely political remedies, whoever is in power and whoever wins the next General Election. We need God, and we need Jesus, back at the centre of our lives. I mentioned a week or two ago that I was reading Nigel Biggar’s book about Colonialism. One of the things that comes out of that book is how much the whole imperial enterprise was animated and characterised by a strong Christian faith in so many of those who went out to rule and govern the dominions and colonies. Lord Cromer who was Consul-General of Egypt at the turn of the last century expected the government of Egypt to be run by expert and selfless administrators inspired by “the granite rock of the Christian moral code”. No-one could even dream of such a thing today.

Is a fresh spring-time of revival in England merely a pipe-dream? Given that we worship an Almighty God, nothing is impossible. God has done it before. John Wesley set off on his horse nearly 300 years ago to preach the Gospel to a nation as depraved as it is today. God worked with him, and with his followers, and God turned the nation into the one that bred Lord Cromer. God never does repeats. So we should not expect the next revival to look like the last one. We have seen some powerful moves of the Holy Spirit already, reviving and renewing the Church. There are stories of a fresh move of God in a place called Asbury in Kentucky. This is primarily a revival amongst ‘Generation Z’, young adults, a truly lost and confused generation. Watch this space!

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