Film Friday: A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Mr Rogers is an entertainer like no other. He cares for people, children in particular, and he demonstrates this in his most popular children’s show. Generations have grown up learning about life and its good and bad points by watching his entertaining and endearing presentations. Then one day, Lloyd, a writer for Esquire magazine, is commissioned to write an article on the great and popular man. Lloyd, having got into a fistfight with his father, shows up for work a little reluctantly…

Lloyd soon discovers that Mr Rogers is a rather astute character, and this interview is not going to go the way he planned.

The problem is – Mr Rogers likes people who are struggling and can’t help but be interested in them. He is startlingly disarming and Lloyd has trouble holding the man at arm’s length. He keeps invading his space and getting under his skin. Something Jesus was rather good at too. When he met a woman at a well he very quickly started talking to her about her chaotic personal life. When a tax collector climbed a tree he invited himself round for a feast. And when a Pharisee came to him secretly at night for a covert conversation Jesus offered him a whole new way forward. Nicodemus had been born into all the right privileges. And it wasn’t enough. Jesus offered him the chance to be reborn, into a life that wasn’t a privilege, but a gift. He could see the hunger in Nicodemus for something more and Jesus wasn’t ready to let that lie. He has a way of disarming us too. Offering us a counter-cultural life of trusting in him, finding hope in our fears, and strength for the bombardment of everyday life. Jesus wasn’t just another religious figure, he was the author of life, and the author life cannot help but want us to begin a new chapter.

John chapter 3

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