I’m not a big cinema fan. I’m not even a big fan of films. For some reason, they just don’t engage me. To be honest, I am known for falling asleep in pretty much any film that I watch.
Of course, there are a few exceptions;
– High School Musical
– Confessions of a shopaholic
– Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging.
These three, despite two of them being specifically classed as ‘Chick Flicks’ engaged me all the way through. I even told my wife to sshh in one of them. It’s usually the other way round.
However in addition to these three films, I must commend the new film of Les Miserables. Whilst it was no comparison musically to the stage show, I thought as a film it was brilliant. The Criteria for me to declare it a brilliant film was that I stayed awake. I think I should be a film critic.
The thing about this story, is that it shares much about what the Christian faith is all about. The theme of forgiveness is evident throughout. We see how Valjean, having been released from prison is offered a place to stay by the Bishop of Digne. Valjean steals silver from the bishop, gets caught and returned to the Bishop. The bishop, however, denies that he stole anything and that it was a gift. This act of kindness from the Bishop changes Valjeans life. Similarly the bible highlights that we also deserve judgement from God and yet God offers us a new slate. He offers complete forgiveness. In fact, his son Jesus Christ died on a cross to take our judgement, to take our place.
Then we also see the character of Javert who never completely understood or accepted forgiveness. Javert is a ‘good man’ who simply abides by the law. His understanding is very black and white, right or wrong. This causes him great trouble eventually leading to him jumping from the bridge.
The author of Les Miserables (the book), Victor Hugo, wrote these words; ‘Life’s great happiness is to be convinced that we are loved.’
This sums up the message that I am so passionate about. Life in it’s fullness, life at it’s very best comes from knowing the God who loves and values you unconditionally. Love brings forgiveness, love brings happiness, love doesn’t judge, but brings freedom.
God is love. God created it, he is the definition of it. God personifies what it means to love someone, and so what it says in Les Mis is true. – ‘To love another person, is to see the face of God’
So let me ask you a question. How do you respond to God’s love and forgiveness? Are you like Javert who rejects and misunderstands it, or are you like Valjean who allows it to transform him and change his perspective on life?
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