[A 3 minute read]
In one of his recent tweets, the comedian Frankie Boyle asked, “Honestly, why are they still doing the weather? We’re indoors, mate!” Two years ago, during Lent, many people were prevented from making it to Mass by the Beast from the East, snow drifts dragging the country to a temporary halt! I have a memory, too, from years ago, when my grandfather lay in his hospital bed, that it snowed a little at Easter. In this country, we are used to unseasonal weather, and for us, as Christians, this has been a strange season of Lent, and Holy Week and the Easter season will feel strange too. For those of us who love the seasons of the Church, we have our own case of unseasonal weather.
The phrase ‘A Man for all Seasons’ refers to someone who is ready to cope with any possible event, and whose behaviour is always appropriate to every occasion. As we experience this unseasonal weather, and prepare to celebrate Holy Week and Easter in a very different way, perhaps we can use the phrase for Jesus. Yes, he is the Man, the God, for all seasons. His actions, of course, weren’t always considered appropriate by everyone. On Palm Sunday, he is hailed by the crowds as a King, and yet rides not on the back of a powerful horse but more humbly on a donkey. On Holy Thursday, in that upper room, he breaks table etiquette and stoops to wash his disciples’ feet – an action which Peter finds, at first, quite inappropriate but soon accepts that if he doesn’t allow Jesus to do this he can have no share in him.
Over the next few weeks, we seek to share in Jesus, to draw closer to him, the Man, the God for all Seasons. It’s ok to ask for help, it’s ok to say we aren’t coping very well. It’s ok to wish that life was different. But we also need to settle into this unseasonal weather. The Danes have a saying, “There is no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothing.’ To use a phrase of St Paul’s and adapted in the baptismal service, “You have been clothed with Christ and raised to new life in him.” So, enjoy rummaging around in the wardrobe of your faith, dig deep, rediscover what it means to be close to Christ, to be clothed with Christ during this unseasonal weather. After all, we’re not going anywhere, and neither is he. He is right here, come rain or shine.