Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gospel lessons from ‘Downton Abbey’

From Tom Ehrich-

I got home from a church event on Sunday evening, in time to watch the season three finale of “Downton Abbey” on PBS, but I stuck to my guns about catching up on previous episodes first.
But on Monday morning, The New York Times had two articles about the finale and I couldn’t stop myself from reading them.

So now I know that two key characters get killed off — because the actors playing them wanted to move on from the show. Does that mean watching the older season three episodes is pointless? Not at all. As any Christian can tell you, knowing how the story ends doesn’t take away its meaning or mystery. If anything, you become even more alert to character development.

Killing off characters can work wonders for a television series, but it rarely works for the actors who overestimated what they uniquely brought to the program.

Ask any executive, pastor or educator about moving on and then bombing in the next job: their success wasn’t about them in the first place. It was circumstance, luck or an “alignment of the planets,” if you will, that existed only for an instant.

Maybe this reality explains why Christianity has been such a flawed enterprise. Think about it. Virtually nothing of what Jesus intended has come to pass. His followers aren’t one, they aren’t even nice. Humankind has neither learned to love God or neighbor, to make peace, or to proclaim the good news of salvation in any way deeper than institutional arrogance. Nor have we learned to be bold in justice, magnanimous in healing, generous with wealth, or welcoming of outcasts.

More here-

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