The Good, the Bad and... Index Home

First let me introduce myself – I have been a minister in the United Reformed Church for the last six years, principally active in our churches on Holyhead Road and in Brownshill Green.  For the last year I have had a more general role in the District, but have just been asked to be the “interim” minister at West Orchard URC, following the departure of Revd Paul Bedford for a church in Northamptonshire.  As well as the ministry, I have a full-time job in Engineering, working in Nuneaton.  With my family, I live in Earlsdon.

My son Charles had his twelfth birthday right at the beginning of the school holidays.  This means that we suddenly have another category of entertainment opened up to us, namely “12-certificate” films.  So we have been to see “Minority Report” and “Spiderman”.  Together with many dramas, these films share one characteristic.  They have characters in them that you might see as being either “good” or “bad” people.  And sometimes these characters turn out not to be quite what we thought!

I won’t spoil the plot of either film by divulging who it is that starts out as a “baddie” and end up as a “goodie”, or indeed switches sides the other way.  But if you watched “Pride and Prejudice” on TV again recently you might get the idea if you recall that Mr Darcy starts out as a character whom both the viewer and the heroine rather dislike, but ends up saving the day.  Mr Wickham, on the other hand, starts out as a dashing young man in everyone’s favour, and ends up revealed as an out and out rogue.

Stories in our New Testament encourage us not to take people at face value, and not to base our opinion of them on first appearances or even on how they describe themselves.  When Jesus said “A healthy tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a poor tree bear good fruit”, he was using picture-language to encourage us all to look at how people behave – towards other people and towards the world.  Then we see what people are really like.  And sometimes it can be a big surprise!

(c) Copyright Bill Young 2003