On the one hand…

There’s the old joke…

A man went out wearing one glove. ‘Why are you only wearing one glove?’

‘Because the weather forecast said that on the one hand it might be warm; on the other hand it might be cold.’

Musing on ‘on the one hand’ statements…. On the one hand pandemic restrictions will ease; we shall move to a lower tier. On the other hand there will be a third spike after Christmas; we shall return to national lockdown.

Decisions we face each day…

On the one hand I need to lose weight; on the other hand I want that pack of donuts.

One the one hand I could get into huge debt and keep my business going; on the other hand I could cut my losses and become unemployed.

On the one hand I should send my child to the local school; it’s close, convenient and that’s where her friends go. On the other hand I should send her to the school fifteen miles away; it has a better reputation and can meet her needs better.

And this Christmas…

On the one hand I want to buy an expensive present I can’t afford; on the other hand we need to save because we’re not sure of our financial future…

On the one hand we need to meet with family and friends; I may bend the rules to suit our family situation. On the other hand I mustn’t risk anybody’s health; I shall be extremely careful.

On the one hand we discuss ‘facts’ in the Christmas story; the number of wise men, the nature of the star, the distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem. On the other hand we reflect on the truth it contains: God’s involvement with birth, marriage and death, God’s concern for the poor and unnoticed, God’s plan that is greater than we can see or imagine.

Either way we don’t trust the weather forecast.

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