Amazing Spider-Man 2 & Easter Saturday: Hope is a comma not a full stop

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Yesterday was Good Friday a day of reflection, a day of sadness. I spent last night watching a Passion play depicting the last days of Jesus put on brilliantly by members of our congregation.

Afterwards I did something that some amy think rather odd. I didn’t quietly contemplate. I didn’t go home and pray for hours.

I took myself to the Dolby surround sound scaped, CGI laden, action packed Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Not the norm perhaps. Not for Good Friday. Possibly. It may however be a film for Easter Saturday.

Easter Saturday is an odd day, a supposedly dark day, a hopeless day.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is laden with hope. Speeches on hope, reflections on hope, the hope of discovering who you are, the hope of finding who you are meant to be, the hope of finding out facts of those you have lost.

Easter Saturday sees a broken, wounded, bloodied body resting in a tomb.

Those at the time thought hope was lost, hope was dead.

Those of us who have Easter Saturday today realise that hope was not lost. Hope lay broken wounded, and bloodied but hope was a comma and not a full stop.

Calvary: A surprise in the end and the beginning.


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Calvary is a film that shocks in both its opening and its ending.

A priest (Brendan Gleeson) is told by a visitor to his confessional booth of the horrific abuse inflicted by a priest. The priest is then also told that he will be killed, not because he is guilty, he will be killed because the greatest shock is in killing someone who is innocent.

What transpires is a darkly comic trip through not so much a who dunnit but a which one will it be.

Timing is everything and a release at Easter is far too coincidental for me not to be drawn to this films Holy week allegorical leanings.

A village full of extreme and in some ways biblical characters, an inn keeper, a rich young ruler (a banker), church leaders more concerned with rules than what is happening on the ground, murderers. 

A village full of characters who begin the week quite jovially with the priest but as time progresses turn on him with more frequency and ferocity.

It has an air of familiarity.

The ending however did something incredible. Something I had not experienced in a while. At the films climatic end there was an audible gasp as a story that many thought would go one way, pulled the rug from under us all, and took us another direction entirely.

Again an air of familiarity.

Easter is approaching and instead of being at church on Easter Sunday I will be camping with my family. Away from social media, away from blog posts, away from a cinema, away from noise (to a degree). To be honest I haven’t felt bad about that. How many times have I travelled the Easter journey through church, how many times have I sung those same songs.

An air of  over familiarity.

This week I was reading Brain McLaren’s ‘A New Kind Of Christianity’ which I would definitely recommend.

In it he said ‘the tomb becomes the womb giving birth to a new creation’.

Before I could stop myself I felt the eyes of those around me staring. I realised I had taken a sharp intake of breath.

To my shock and awe I was reminded of something I had neglected.

Shock endings and perhaps more importantly shocking beginnings aren’t just restricted to films carrying the name of Calvary.  

Noah, biblical inaccuracies and why wait and see is better

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Noah is released this weekend and I’m hopefully going to get the chance to see it soon.

It’s been a divisive topic out there in the Christian blogging world (which is as odd we are normally such a tolerant bunch). Many are excited about the possible conversation starter this film could prove to be in their workplace, some are hesitant in the depiction given that Aronofsky is an atheist, some are real radicals and have said they want to see it first before passing judgement (imagine that world).

Much more however has been written  about the biblical inaccuracies. Parts of the story not included or detailed incorrectly from the Biblical account. 

I’m going to wait and see for myself and I’m hopeful for the conversation starter aspect of the film.

I’m not however bothered by any supposed ‘biblical inaccuracies’.

Noah is a great bible story. Sunday school is where it’s main audience lies.

Faith to believe you are asked to build a massive boat  and look after a floating zoo shows great faith and trust while your peers look on and mock. Noah’s failings later in the story are also great learning for adults. The Noah story shows that even those with great faith can make great mistakes (they don’t go over that part in Sunday schools for obvious reasons).

The main point is that I am a Christian and as such wish to engage with art in all its forms and where possible bring Christ into those conversations held after the event.

Here’s the thing how many Noahians do you know? None? No me either.