Today it is supposed to thaw in Glasgow, the weather forecast suggests a peak daytime temperature of 6C after last nights low of -12C. Only in the UK can weather conditions differ so much over short distances and times. No evidence of thaw as I walked into church this morning but hopefully it is warming up a little out there.
The last week or two have seen lots of fun and games at church, firstly it was our gas-fired heating system, then a power cut, then an electrical fault and then another power cut. But we've 'carried on regardless' hiring, borrowing and then buying portable heaters, wrapping up in blankets, running extension cables from the surviving electrical phases (hurrah for three phase!) and refusing to be defeated.
Yesterday there was a burst pipe on the ground floor of my flats which meant some people had no water. When the repair was done they turned off the water to my flat and the one above in error which meant I had no water for a few hours until they rectified things (and worked out what the problem was). Fortunately I have lots of bottled water in the fridge for drug-days so I was OK in the meantime.
I think one of the key characteristics of my church is this sort of defiance of problems. So it's cold, so there're heating problems but actually it's important that we keep together, keep meeting and keep the light shining. This isn't foolish risk taking but thoughtful calmness; we don't waste time praying our problems solved when there's a needy world for God to care for, we do trust God is with us as we use our God-given abilities to resolve things.
This lunchtime we will hold our second Advent Reflection. The fire is on to warm up the meeting room, the liturgy is printed, the props are ready, the CD is being played through even now. We stay calm and we carry on our Advent journey because in it all Immanuel, God is with us.