The biopic is making a comeback. The superhero franchise is on the wane and biographical films of ordinary heroes and villains and all their human shortcomings are in the ascendency. My nominations for best picture are as follows: Oppenheimer, One Life, She Said and Killers of the Flower Moon. All biopics of various kinds. And no, Barbie is not a biopic!
I have also been inspired recently by reading the biography of my great uncle, Rev David Cowan, (“Man and Minister”) who was a founding member of the “Glasgow Students Evangelistic Union” which was the seedbed for much of the innovative mission of the Church of Scotland in the first half of the 20th century under “D P Thomson” (Google – if you want to be inspired!) and the platform that put Eric Liddell’s faith into the public realm before the 1924 Olympics.
Most of us will not have biopics or books published about our lives yet we still see our lives as a story which has meaning and purpose.
The greatest plot twist in the narrative of a human life is the grace of God invading our souls. That is, God’s acting to turn us around, freeing us from the power of the past and to gifting us with new life, new direction and new purpose in him.
Environmentalist and recent convert Paul Kingsnorth describes his conversion as an act of God yanking him free from paganism:
“I felt like I was physically dragged out of Wicca actually. There’s all sorts of strange forces at work that people are not necessarily aware of. I had really been looking for God – and Christ had come to find me… I started having very strange experiences that are difficult to describe. I was having dreams and meeting Christians every 5 minutes. I used to run a writing school and suddenly I had vicars asking me to read their sermons and give them feedback. People I’ve known for years suddenly told me they were Christians. I felt like I was being hunted by Jesus. This was not the plan, but it was happening.”
God’s incursion into our lives changes our story, it rewrites our biographies as testimonies to the work of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Turning our lives into the hands and plans of God means that our future is not destined to be a remake of our past: change is possible.
What great news! There is always opportunity for change whether at the beginning middle or later in life.
Baptism is a God-given way of going public with our story, and an opportunity to share our turning point: our own BC to AD story (from “Before Christ” to “Anno Domini” – to live in the year of the lord.)
This Sunday we are delighted and privileged to be baptising a lady of senior years. We will hear her spiritual biography and how in later life she wants everyone to know that she belongs to Jesus.
I hope you can join us and celebrate this story!
And talking of stories. A week on Friday (2nd February) we are hosting Transforming Media. In this year more people will go to the polls, globally, to vote for a new government than ever before in history. We are also likely to face an unrelenting barrage of information, opinion and downright falsehood about politicians and policies. In the UK Question Time has long been a flagship programme for political debate. No doubt it will find itself at the centre point of discussion this year. So, we are delighted to have QT editor Gerry Gay with us to present and discuss the challenges of finding truth in the clamour of the so-called “post-truth” culture. Question Time is coming from Glasgow the night before. So, with the potential of a feisty debate on Thursday come and indulge in the post-match analysis on Friday! Invite your friends and make sure to book in.