I type this with some trepidation, wondering what the weather is going to be like for our Spring Fair. We had a deluge last year but it didn’t seem to deter people. The rains came at the right time for Hollywood to be launching their latest blockbuster ‘Noah’. I haven’t seen it so I better be careful passing judgement, but when I heard that Russell Crowe had landed the lead role I can guess the kind of movie it might turn into.
I find the lower budget stuff is usually more interesting. I was at a friend’s house in Gloucestershire recently and they had ‘Netflix’ on their ‘box’. It was soon after the death of Bob Hoskins so I was prompted to have another look at ‘A Prayer for the Dying’. It’s pretty strong stuff in places but there is a coherent story and it doesn’t treat religion with cynicism. It illustrated the intractability of sectarianism, but even more so, of the violent response. Archbishop Justin Welby has just been on the radio commenting that the reason why Boko Haram have been partly successful in Northern Nigeria is that they have preached a strong, and often violent, message to young minds in an area of much poverty.
Strength (worldly strength), violence and cynicism often have their sway for a while but we humans are made for something more than such things – it’s how we’re put together. We are hard-wired to believe in something a little bit bigger than ourselves, it’s just hard to pin that down, so to speak. When I asked at our recent Mothering Sunday service for people to write about the kinds of qualities which build good families, churches and communities, it was clear to me that our sense of cynicism hadn’t quite driven out our belief in something better. They were collected up and put at the back of church where people coming in and out could read the post-it notes. They said things like: ‘patience’, ‘trust’, ‘fairness’, ‘compassion’, ‘caring’, ‘listening’, ‘encouragement’, ‘kindness’ and ‘hope’.
As St Paul says: ‘there’s no law against such things’. So let’s be encouraged that they are still present and valued in this community, and let’s keep working hard for such things this year, and we’ll be enabled to make some worthwhile progress together. And maybe people will see that there’s something worthwhile in faith too, so long as we keep our senses of proportion and humour.
Come and see us, and sing with us, sometime (not least at our Summer Concert on 22 June, but any ‘old’ Sunday will do) - suspend your sense of disbelief – I double-dare you! Love & Prayers,
<< Go Back