Film Friday: Pavarotti

This documentary film tells the life story of world famous tenor Pavarotti, his formative years singing with his father, his marriage and family, and his incredible rise to global stardom. At one point he is described as the most famous star on the planet. Yet there came a time when he chose to diversify from singing pure opera. He began doing concerts with various pop stars, like Mariah Carey, Sting, Phil Collins and Bono from U2. He was criticised for making this move, yet it led him to perform loads of charity concerts to help so many folks around the globe. In the last years of his life he went on another global tour, but some folks felt he was past his best. So here is Bono talking about that time…

There is a sense in which that’s all we do with anything we do. Including our faith and our relationship with God. We bring all that we have lived through, our triumphs and failures, our strengths and weakness, our joys and pain and disappointments. We perhaps like to try and bring our best bits to God, but maybe when Jesus talked about loving God with all our heart soul, mind and strength, he meant bringing the messy and dodgy bits as well as the strong and shiny bits. I am so glad that God is in the business of taking our weak and ragged bits and breathing his life through them. Some days it feels as if that’s all we have to offer. What did Paul say in 2 Corinthians 4 v 7? We’re cracked pots! Dodgy vessels! That’s who we are and that’s what we can bring. But Paul goes on to say that the light God puts within us then shines out through our cracks and flaws and gaps to others. It’s God’s work. God’s way. He does it. He’s well used to working through dodgy vessels like me.

Ironically God himself looked weak and flawed and unspiritual when he came to this earth in Jesus. Those who thought they were experts in religion frequently told him off for his behaviour. And yet he was being utterly holy. Full of grace and truth, mercy and kindness. And of course, he could never look weaker than when he was dying, bloody and naked, on a rebel’s cross. Everyone though he had lost the plot that day, when in fact he was beginning a whole new work. The very work that means we can bring all we are to God for his help, and so he can shine his light through the gaps and flaws of our lives. Recently someone gave me a great little analogy about those Magic Painting books for children. What happens is this. You paint the page with water and the colour appears! Amazing. And so it is with God. We bring the water and God provides the colour.

If you’ve never seen  a Magic Painting book, here is one right now…

We bring the water. God brings the colour.

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