I went with some friends to see I, Daniel Blake last night. It’s many years since I last saw a film, and I was wondering whether I would be bored.
Bored I was, as we sat through all the prior adverts. My eyes closed. I was just nodding off when I was startled by some very familiar words.
The voice of wisdom in politics does not shout in order to make itself heard in the market place.
It is a whisper sensed, not just once, but continually and with growing insistence. It speaks into the nagging suspicion that nations have got things drastically wrong and are heading for collective disaster. But wisdom is also the voice of hope. It is the voice of conscience and of common sense and no doubt many of us at Modern Church hope that the day will come when it will be recognised for what it is before it is too late.
Yesterday, I was told a piece of good news, about a sudden and unexpected family reconciliation. It stayed with me all day. Later, I watched the early evening news and then an excellent film, The Lady in the Van – Maggi Smith at her best.
The film was about goodness, as was my friend’s story. Both were good news in the fullest sense. They held, or contained, the events of the day. They held them together.
I have just witnessed a funeral as it should be: very different, I am sorry to say, from most funerals I conducted when I was still in post.
A family member in his early 60s was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died a month later. He was Congolese. His coffin, pictured here, was made of banana leaves.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement reverberated around the UK:
If you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere.
My guess is that this vicar’s daughter is totally unaware of the role Christianity played in getting people to think of themselves as citizens of the world.