Faith at Work XXXVIII

September 2007

This week’s Radio Times (21-27 July) has a picture on the cover of some of the characters from Heroes with the banner “Hero Worship”.  Underneath it says: “Welcome to the brave new world of unreality TV”; well that’s a change from all the reality shows that are available to us as viewers; those do sometimes seem almost as far from reality as you can get … and Heroes, what of that?  Some of the people involved do seem to have supernatural powers that are only just emerging as we get gradually drawn further into the adventure, so where does all that fit into life?

All fiction is an escape from reality in one sense, but in another it is trying to explore all that the trials of life expose us to whilst keeping us secure within a safe environment; we can take as little or as much interest in the characters and the train of events that they encounter as we like.  We can withdraw at any time, though the skill of the author or director can pull us in more than we would wish; we associate with particular people and regard them as heroes, maybe as role models in some way and they can give us important clues about we might lead our lives.

As it happened, I had bought the edition of Radio Times that featured the first episode of Heroes the week before and had made a note to watch, being interested in this genre and intrigued by the concepts.  So when I found the picture being used as someone’s computer wallpaper at work a couple of days later in my role as chaplain, it formed a natural conversation opener – “you must see it”, he said.  Starting to talk is one of the most important aspects of getting to know someone else and to establish mutual respect and trust.  We all need others we can relate to; having a common interest takes us that little bit further.

The true value of story is that it relates to real life but is adjacent to it, so we are able to explore life through it; telling or hearing what happened in the last episode of whatever is in vogue helps us to do that too.  Jesus, as one of the greatest teachers the world has known, teaches by telling stories or parables, many of which are captured in the gospel record for us to read again and again.  Jesus also has the ability to perform beyond the normal expectations of those around him – how would you rate him as a hero … and how would he rate you as a hero?

Almighty God,
you search us and know us:
may we rely on you in strength
and rest on you in weakness,
now and in all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
and subsequent experience during ministry in the parish of Codsall and the BCUIM.
This page was last updated on 2007-07-27

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