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Have you ever seen the film Chocolat?
Set in a 1950s French small village, the boring ‘tranquillity’ is upset by the unexpected arrival of a mysterious, free-spirited woman who opens a chocolate shop during Lent.
The repressed local laird is outraged and vows to close this affront to morality.
Well, this year our Oban congregation’s Lenten Bible study kicked off by watching Chocolat, while eating the same (by the way, Fairtrade is Lent free).
Why is it that so many writers, novelists, playwrights portray Christianity as repressive, and religion as ‘thou shalt not’? Because too often we have been so.
Some have feared our humanity rather than encouraged our liberation.
Jesus, who in his very birth affirmed being human, said, in John’s Gospel: ‘God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.’
These words will be heard in churches this Sunday throughout the world. And, thankfully, so many Christians take this seriously.
The liberating work of congregations is seen in support for such as Christian Aid, Mary’s Meals, New Hope (Oban), the provision of facilities for myriad local organisations, and in the day to day living out of a forgiving, supportive, sensitive faith which speaks out for peace and justice.
Simply, I think too many writers invoke a dated cliché.
Now, where is my Lenten Tunnock’s tea cake?
Rev Dugald Cameron,
Kilmore and Oban, and Moderator of the Presbytery of Argyll.