Some of you at St George’s embarked on the Lent Course ‘Another Story Must Begin’. I know that this was interrupted by the Lockdown but I gather that via the notes it was completed. The Study was based on the film, ‘Les Miserables’.
Early in the story we encounter the Catholic Bishop, affectionately known in the original novel as Monseigneur Bienvenue (‘Bishop Welcome’).The book expands on his godly lifestyle in far more detail than you would be aware of from the film. In a culture where bishops had a high and privileged lifestyle, often even a grand and ostentatious lifestyle, Hugo portrays a cleric who lives simply, who welcomes strangers not just to his door but right into his home. The released convict Jean Valjean repays such hospitality by stealing from the Bishop. Contrary to a society that demanded retribution and cruel punishment the Bishop acts with grace, forgiveness and generosity. In doing so his actions salvage the soul of Jean Valjean. Monseigneur Bienvenue’s lifestyle brings hope and new life to the broken, the despised and the poor.
There are 5 gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, and ‘Your lifestyle’.
The broken, the despised, the poor, the marginalised, the abused, the hurting and the forgotten, may not be reading Matthew Mark Luke and John, but they may be reading You.
What is your lifestyle saying? Does it bring a message of hope, does it bring action not just words?