Thursday, 26 August 2010

Of long drops and banana frosting

I hate Winter. Rain, colds, flu, fog, short days, chilly evenings...

I hate not being able to get out for a regular walk, what the previous generation called a "constitutional." And while some of my own generation - and you know who you are - have capitulated to the demands of telemarketers to join a gym, that is a luxury denied to those of us with real jobs, restricted lunch breaks and long commutes.

Do I sound a bit grumpy?

Well, I'm making excuses for irregular blogging of late as I nurse a box of tissues. As I said, I hate Winter.

But even in the Southern hemisphere Winter is invariably followed by Spring, and August - the cursed month - is about to morph into September.

Watching TV news coverage of floods in Pakistan and China with their human toll, however, I'm a bit embarrassed to think there's anything at all worth complaining about in this neck of the woods. Auckland is a long way from the monsoon belt, even if it is built on supposedly dormant volcanoes. And now the bad news has extended to the African nation of Niger where yet more floods have turned an already terrible situation into a catastrophe. Real people, real loss.

Maybe theologies should be categorised by seasons too. I'm pretty sure Calvin cooked up his hateful stew on a grey Winter day, and Augustine had a persistent head cold when he invented original sin.

Luther, we know for a fact, was constantly constipated, which explains a good deal as well as providing one of my favourite stories (actually my only story) about the link between chilly castle long-drops and grace. I'd relate it now, but it's best told with the appropriate sound effects... I'm sure Luther himself would feel short-changed without the grunting sounds.

As the Crowded House number goes, you need to take the weather with you. Easier said than done, especially when a horde of Bible-quoting pessimists keep slagging off the human species as mired in its own total depravity. And the sad truth is that many Christians seem to think that the weather they need to internalise is, well, Winter's blast. Bah, humbug!

I know of a Christian community (loosely defined) where they've tried in recent years to flush away the Winter blues by introducing a genetically modified post-Barthian perversion of Reformed theology into their orthodoxy, along with a good deal of arm waving into their orthopraxis. Not a pretty sight. A bit like putting banana frosting on a traditional fruit cake. But that's another box of tissues.

Spring? Bring it on!


  1. Just out of random curiousity....Did the church still call DoUB "the Spring Holy Days" Down Under? I don't think they changed the covers of the YES lessons, for the hemispherically-challenged market....

  2. Oh, and by the way, I hope you're feeling better, Gavin! I prescribe plenty of hot and sour ginger root soup (homemade, if possible, with lots of green onions).