Film Friday: Golden Years

When Arthur and Martha Goode are hit by the pensions crisis they decide to take a drastic course of action. Desperate times push the couple to desperate measures. They will take back the money taken from them. When Arthur accidentally concusses a security guard, who is in the process of delivering £70,000 to a bank, the temptation proves too much. Arthur grabs the money and runs. When that plan goes awry he and Martha hatch a new plan, involving a smoke grenade, a fake bomb, a paintballing gun, a cucumber and a shopping trolley.

There are many pensioners in the Bible. They play a key part in the story of faith. In the book of Ruth Naomi hits her own desperate times when her husband and two sons die. They had moved to another country to escape the hard times in Israel. But now everything has fallen apart. Without a man to provide for her she is hit by her own ‘pensions crisis’. She doesn’t resort to cucumber-armed robbery, but she does take another difficult route. She decides to return home, alone if necessary. Her family still own land in Israel, so she will risk the ridicule and gossip she may face when returning. In her old age she ups sticks, gives up everything she now knows, and travels to the country she left behind. This creates a dilemma for her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, they are Moabite girls. Will they go to Israel too?

Both intend to stick with Naomi, but Orpah is persuaded to return home. Only stubborn Ruth hangs on, declaring that she will go to the ends of the earth to help her mother-in-law, even to death. When they arrive, as hungry refugees in Israel, Ruth goes out gleaning, collecting bits of corn that the farmers have tossed to one side. It’s all they have. However, dispirited Naomi, heartened by Ruth’s loyalty, hatches a plan, and the rest, as they say, is history.

When Ruth’s great, great, great etc grandson is born centuries later, it takes another pensioner to spot his arrival. Widowed Anna, after long faithful years in the temple, spots a young couple shuffling in, and her eyes are opened. Along with Simeon she sees what everyone else has missed. The Messiah is in town, as a tiny, vulnerable baby. The future has arrived. Anna is so happy she spreads the word, telling everyone about it.

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