Vicar’s Reflection: Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, 28th January 2018
I enjoyed western movies when I was young. You could always tell the heroes from the villains. Heroes wore light coloured hats and the villains wore the dark hats. Lately I’ve noticed that there is a lot of moral ambiguity in movies. The heroes are flawed in some way and the villains are treated sympathetically, as much wronged against as they are the cause of wrong. This is may be truer to life, but it can leave you puzzled and feeling negative. Late last year we watched ‘Doctor Foster’ a British drama about marital infidelity and a bitter divorce. My sympathies swung back and forth. The Dr Foster of the title was badly wronged by her despicable husband but her choice to exact vengeance seemed destructively extreme, and the ending was confused. But perhaps that’s life. For me it raises some questions: Are there no longer any good people? What does it mean to be good? In Nick Hornby's novel How to Be Good, the main character, David sets out to be good in the fashion of the Gospels. A very amusing story but told with insight and sympathy and, I think, a genuine desire to answer the question implied by its title. From the very earliest accounts of Jesus’ we learn that he is to grow into a special person, perhaps even a good person and that this will come at a cost. What kind of person are you? What price are you willing to pay to be good?