Integrity and Grace – Wicked Little Letters

Based on a true story set in the 1920s, Wicked Little Letters is about Edith who starts receiving anonymous, highly-offensive letters, and so she accuses her sweary next door neighbour Rose of sending them. The case builds and others start receiving similar letters. Is it Rose? Just who is sending these horrible things? The letters are certainly offensive, but what strikes me as I think about the film now, is the disturbing hypocrisy of Edith and her father who proclaim themselves to be highly devout and religious and yet are unforgiving and judgmental of others. Edith’s father in particular is selfish, demanding, and quick to lash out. They talk of their faith in Jesus, but don’t seem to have joined the dots with they way they live. It reminds me of the closing scenes of the first Godfather movie, when the godfather is in church declaring vows of rejecting evil and turning to God, meanwhile his men are out and about bumping people off!
Jesus was totally authentic, he lived what he talked, and he showed constant kindness and compassion to others, knowing that this would draw them to God, rather than driving them away. There is very little about Rose and her father that reminds us of Jesus, sadly reinforcing the notion that religion is a harsh and cruel taskmaster. When Jesus is introduced, in chapter one of John’s gospel, he is described as being full of grace and truth. Truth that would set people free, not wrap them in restrictive judgmental chains. Lord, we are all guilty of hypocrisy at times, it’s easy to slip into that mode, save us from this please, and keep on transforming us into channels of good news, and true grace that, through Jesus, sets others free. Amen.

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