London 1960. With the cold war humming away and the threat of it escalating into a nuclear event, the CIA need a little help. They are thin on the ground in Moscow and turn to British Intelligence. The solution? Get a businessman who is outside of the spy network to carry information back and forth. Enter Greville Wynne, a settled and happily married salesman, well used to taking business trips to Eastern Europe. And so Greville is invited out to dinner to discuss his latest business opportunities, only to find himself invited to take a few trips to communist Russia, as ‘a service to Great Britain and the world’. He is stunned and sits there in an awkward silence. The Bible is full of folk who find themselves out of their depth. Esther meets her cousin one day and ends up with the burden of saving her entire nation from destruction. Gideon threshes grain in secret only to find himself the leader of a small army. John Goldingay, in his great book Men Behaving Badly, points out that biblical heroes are often invited into situations in which they lack resources, so that God can do the work through them. They are invited out of the shallow end because they can trust in God. So they can trust in God. Moving out of our comfort zone is an overused phrase. And one I don’t like much. Who wants to be nudged and shoved into an awkward place? That’s unsettling and I’d much rather carry on with what I know and can achieve on my own. And yet, as we look back, we may see times when those places of (to use a phrase) walking on water, have been times of stretching and learning and growing. The biblical writers also assure us that we are each made in the image of our creator and as such have the capacity to bring his goodness, kindness, strength and purpose to others, in our being, doing and reacting. We are, you could say, couriers of the grace of God.
Film Friday Reflection: The Courier
Fri 15 October 2021
Thanks for this Dave. I think it is vital to be willing to go to awkward places if you follow Jesus.. Several years ago I felt challenged by God to go out on the streets of Leeds to talk about the Christian faith with students. At first I really didn’t enjoy it but now I find it exciting and an adventure. Sometimes we have to get out of the comfort of our homes if we are to be disciples of Jesus. We have to take risks!