This week my pal, Rev. Bob Fritch, pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Jamaica, Queens, posted a cheeky message on his church sign: “Satan called. He wants his weather back.”
Yes, it seems hotter than hell. All anyone seems to be talking about is the hot, hazy, humid weather. Imagine if we spent as much time thinking about God and our faith practices as we do the weather! It would be heavenly.
Have you ever thought about how much we talk about our weather conditions? A media specialist once advised me that weather events are among the greatest draws for newscasts. It is easy to understand: an approaching storm stirs great emotions and necessitates planning and sometimes panic. The more extreme the weather, the more it exacerbates attention. Stand-up comedian Vic DiBitetto satirizes this in a skit “Bread & Milk” (you can find it on YouTube). The impact and aftermath of storms occasionally also garner lovely human-interest stories. Thankfully, there are still things that pull at our heartstrings.
Beyond the extreme storms that have brought destruction we haven’t seen in recorded history sensationalism has added to the interest in our weather events. Besides incomprehensible high and low-pressure systems, our meteorologists tend to pepper us with hyperbolic terms such as Bombcyclones, Santa Anna Winds, Snowmageddon, and Thundersnow. We now weather much more than Arctic blasts, Nor’easters, and notoriously named storms.
I am intrigued by human interest in weather. We seem to have an infatuation with events beyond our control. In ancient times, observers deemed the unpredictability of water chaos, the action of disgruntled gods, or the reaction of evil powers. Jesus calming the seas was an example of his extreme authority and divine power. Our Holy Scripture is chockfull of other weather events that show the supreme power of God. Every story involving droughts, floods, winds, and other storms has a message. My interest caught the surprise of seminary advisors, professors, and fellow doctoral students when I proposed my doctoral thesis on “Biblical Preaching on Theology and Meteorology” at Luther Seminary. I am still waiting for the headwinds to bring that suggestion to shore.
Whatever your views on the conditions outside, I assure you this Sunday’s worship, July 24, will not be as hot as hell. So join us in the cooler morning breeze for our outdoor worship at 8:00 AM (weather permitting, of course!) or in our air-conditioned sanctuary at 10:15 AM. We will also gather at 6:00 PM indoors for Responsive Prayer. Stay cool!