“Aye Rev, the sun shines on the righteous!” comes the quip as we soak up rationed rays from our meagre Scottish summer. Distortion of Jesus’ words snowballs with the implication thus, that rain must fall on the ‘unrighteous’, in which case us Scots are serious sinners, with recent rainfall breaking all records!

Then, what of those in North & Central America and Southern Asia, battered by hurricane, storm and flood!? There seems to be growing evidence that “The impacts of Asian pollution on the storm track tend to affect the weather patterns of other parts of the world.” (Yuan Wang, Jet Propulsion Lab, Caltech) St Paul spoke of the ‘pains of childbirth’ that creation undergoes, due to humanity’s sins (Romans 8), in anticipation of the New & Recycled Creation God will bring about through Jesus Christ (Romans 8).

This shouldn’t paralyse or stop us from lobbying for greater national and international respect for planet earth, rather inspire us to play our part personally, locally and internationally as far as we can. I continue to be chuffed with North Ayrshire Council’s (NAC) commitment to recycling, green issues, community development and addressing poverty. Sure, there is always stuff to complain about, but ‘Well Done NAC!’ on winning APSE’s best council in the UK award!

Back to that blinkered abuse of Scripture and God’s gracious outpouring of fresh air, sunshine and rain upon us ALL, the good, bad, ugly and beautiful. Here in West Coast Scotland we are truly blessed, we lack consistent sunshine, our lochs overflow and winds can be dangerous, but we’re not exposed to extremes of heat, storm & earthquake. And we’re surrounded by rolling hills, beautiful islands and deep blue waters.

In view of God’s indiscriminate Grace in Creation, Mother Nature and God’s Love for each one of us ‘in Christ’, we could (and should) be one of the happiest & peaceable peoples on planet earth! Friends, here’s how Jesus really puts it:

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

(Matthew 5:44-45 / NLT)

Paraphrased well by Peterson,

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”