15th July 2022

Every couple of months or so, Merry and I meet up with a few friends to discuss a film, or sometimes a tv drama. We’ll have watched it previously at home before meeting up, and we share our responses to the story, the various characters and the issues raised. Very occasionally we choose a film because of its relevance to faith, but usually it’ll just be the sort of thing shown at any cinema. This does mean, of course, that we sometimes have to tolerate some degree of bad language, violence and sexual activity, but we’ve reached a level of trust in the group where we can cope with quite meaty themes without too much embarrassment – not that we’re deliberately seeking to push boundaries!

You’ll recognise that the form of our gatherings isn’t very different from any decent book club. A good chunk of the time is spent simply catching up with each other before we get down to our discussion, but it’s in the discussion that I see relationships growing and deepening. The film may be thoroughly secular in content, with God only appearing as a curse or an expletive, but it’s rare for these visual stories not to throw up issues of value and meaning, of relationship, morality and justice to test our sometimes over-cosy assumptions. In wrestling with these challenges, we share our understanding of what God may be doing in the world and in our own lives, which must always be a useful thing for Christians to be doing.

Ken Stewart