So, Mr Bond is back, and let’s face it, we’d been expecting him. For quite a while. And he’s up against Spectre once more, the evil organisation with another plot to upend mankind. Without giving away any spoilers I will mention one line that I enjoyed. One of the other OO agents, on being snubbed by Bond, says to Moneypenny, ‘I can see why you shot him!’ That made me laugh. An odd line if you don’t know the reference from Skyfall. Context is everything really. Especially with humour. When I come across a wrapper which says, ‘Don’t recycle!’ I think oh great, we don’t have to bother recycling anymore. (As someone with a version of OCD, sorting out which bits to throw and which to recycle does my head in at times, as I try to get it ‘right’.) Of course the ‘Don’t recycle’ command only applies to that wrapper in my hand. Not to everything else. Context is everything. I often wonder how many people have misunderstood Jesus because they have not grasped the full context. He is often seen as a religious leader, yet he came to set people free from the damaging side of religion. He came to a people being burdened and pressured by religious and non-religious leaders, and offered a different way which was about life, identity, freedom, love and reality. It’s also thought that Jesus was only about getting us into heaven, and yet pretty much all of his parables are about life on earth. Jesus came to save us from ourselves and our destructive ways. Salvation is about a growing relationship with a living God. Not a club we join, or a badge we wear. In one of his stories harmful weeds grow alongside healthy wheat, a tale of the good and bad present alongside each other in this world, the destructive Spectre co-existing with the heroic 00 agents if you like. One day that will all be sorted out, but for now we make our way through a checkered world, discerning the best way as we look to Jesus for strength, compassion and wisdom. In Luke 1 verses 78-79, and Luke 14 verses 18 and 19 we can find encouragement.
I regularly post creative pieces which help folks connect with the Bible in a contemporary and down-to-earth way. Please feel free to make use of them if they inspire you. I also post daily short thoughts on Twitter and have produced a variety of books, most of which draw on the Bible.