A week of constant rain, with the reservoirs full to overflowing, and worries about flooding downstream.

A week where it was feared violence might again overspill in Washington, but thankfully, so far, a peaceful transition to a new President

A week in which more and more businesses have found the Brexit bureaucracy is not seamless nor frictionless but deeply damaging to their exports. Is this also a winter-storm and a bumpy transition or something more long-lasting.

A week in which numbers receiving their vaccination in our country. go up and up, but so do the numbers who are dying from Covid.

Jesus called on people to read the signs of the times, and to be immersed in the “Law”, what it says in the Scriptures. It is not easy to do both – too much signs of the times and we remove God from the world, but too much Scriptures without embedding them removes the world from God.

A few hundred years ago, it seems, most people had a belief in the numinous, in the divine, in the spirit-world, and into that many had a Christian focus. God was and is ever-present in this world, and our sin has led to judgement, our disobedience to wrong choices and the consequences of those. Today, many have written the divine out of their way of thinking, certainly any sort of personal God. People may explore a ‘spirituality’ whatever that is, but it is normally centred on self and self-awareness and self-improvement, all of which are good, but without an external focus on God are lacking a crucial element, like scissors with only one blade (and the same can be said for those whose faith in God does not impact their lives and is not impacted by that is happening in life.

In our thinking about mission and what the Church is there for we work with a dynamic trio:

We face-up which is to say we acknowledge God in our lives and in our world, we respond with prayer and worship and action

We look within at ourselves as individuals, and at ourselves as Church, seeking an integrity and a confident humility; we give time in silence for reflection, we use our brains to make sense of what is happening

We face outwards, concerned for others and the world, wanting to make a difference, helping people who are struggling, standing up for what is just and right, and against what is wrong, concerned for the planet God has given us.

As we reflect on the events of this week, in our own lives, in the lives of our community, nation and world this should be a dynamic movement, where we seek God’s voice and call, where we read the signs of the times with integrity while open to the ideas of others. A confident humility has a confidence in what is right (so it is not swayed by whatever anyone says), but open to be corrected and to acknowledge that things are often more complex than the headlines say. And these two are inadequate if we do not then look to make a difference for good.

It is easy in the gloom and with the lack of boundary markers, our old daily routine, our weekly routines, to lose a sense of direction and to feel lost, becalmed or maybe even caught in an endless storm, going nowhere. Keeping the three foci and the dynamic between them to heart can help us relocate ourselves with God, in ourself and for others, whatever the situation.

May we know the guiding hand of God this coming week