Film Friday: Absolutely Fabulous

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When Patsy and Edina start running out of money they decide they must court the attention of supermodel Kate Moss. If they can do PR for her they’ll be made for life. And then they can eat, drink and party themselves silly. They care about nobody else, just their own deluded selves. They refuse to grow up, evening though they are growing older, believing themselves to still be fabulous. In their quest to live it up and satisfy themselves they end up on the maddest of adventures. Including this moment, when they are fleeing the police in a tiny fish van.

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There are lots of wise women in the Bible – Ruth, Esther, Deborah, Abigail, Mary – to name just  a few. Rizpah comes to mind, the heartbroken mother of two sons sacrificed and humiliated by King David in 2 Samuel 21. She refused to leave her son’s bodies to rot out on an open hillside, and defiantly stayed and mourned them until David was shamed into doing something to help her.

But there are foolish women too. Proverbs 14 verse 1 describes the foolish woman as one who tears her own house down, as opposed to the wise woman who builds with care, and this was centuries before Jesus told his story of two wise and foolish builders. Perhaps he was inspired by the picture in proverbs and, like the makers of the new Ghostbusters movie changing the protagonists from male to female, he switched the foolish women to foolish men. Certainly Patsy and Edina could well fall into the category of women tearing their own houses down with their priorities and actions.

Michal comes to mind. A desperately sad tale of a love gone wrong. Michal fell in love with young David in 1 Samuel 18 v 20. But, after years of being abandoned by him, and passed around like a pawn in her father’s selfish games, she came out of the experience twisted, bitter and broken. When she saw David dancing in worship she despised him, and criticised him for his actions. Her brittle ‘foolishness’  grew out of years of neglect and bad treatment. Life did not turn out as she expected. Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law hardened her heart after the men in her life died. She went as far as changing her name to Bitter. But unlike Michal, she softened again, with the help of Ruth she found a new way forward. Wisdom crept back into her life, and with God’s help, she found a hope and a future.

The good news for all of us is that when Jesus met folks that others deemed to be ‘foolish’ – female or male – he was ever ready to offer them a new start. Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, Mary, Bartimaeus, Joanna, Thomas, a women who touched the hem of Jesus’s clothes, Peter, Martha, Nicodemus, a woman caught in adultery, a Syro-Phoenician mother, John Mark, Jairus… and a whole list of millions others down the ages.

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