Posted by George Morrison

Storm Ellen                      Word on the Week                    22nd August 2020.

The first of the Autumn storms rolled in from the Atlantic this week.   Since they are named alphabetically by the Meteorological Office and ‘E’ is the 5th letter we must have suffered four such storms earlier this year.   The Met Office in the UK names the storms which affect the UK and the Irish Met Office has the doubtful privilege of naming those which first impinge upon our shores.   Hence the more Irish name of ‘Ellen’.

The South coast bore the brunt of the storm as it made landfall in Co Cork.   A wind speed of 145Km/Hr or 90 mph brought down many electricity wires and left about 194,000 properties affected by power outages.    The network was also damaged by uprooted trees which were particularly vulnerable to the wind having maximum foliage at this time of year.

Ellen also brought flooding as it was accompanied by torrential rain and, in coastal areas, Spring tides added to the deluge.    It is hard for the authorities to prepare adequately for these storms as they are becoming more severe and can appear out of their normal season.   Flood insurance cannot be purchased for properties built on floodplains.   Cover can be bought where there has been little or no history of flooding. Global warming has made it prudent to do so.

These things add to the stress created by a surge in reported Covid cases.   New restrictions have been imposed to limit the number attending gatherings and social distancing and mask wearing are among the continuing rules to try to limit the spread of the virus.      

So far there has been an absence of blame for our increasing numbers of victims to the disease.    We do have an increasingly aware public, quick to pounce on those flouting the rules especially where those involved are themselves part of the authority that created them i.e. members of Government.

Storms and pandemics – is God in control of the world?   Most certainly!   Can we blame God for either purposing or permitting these things to happen?   Not at all!  

The following remarks are addressed to believers living in disobedience.   “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.  In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (Colossians Chapter 3 verses 5 – 10).

The reason these things are happening has everything to do with the failure of Christians to live the new life we have been given.  The remedy – read verses 11 -17.