This weekend was The Oscars weekend, when the stars of film and showbiz gathered to hear who had been awarded Best Female or Male actor and which film got the Best Picture award. I was as pleased as punch to hear that Rami Malek won Best Male – as a lifelong Queen fan I thought his portrayal of Freddie was unnervingly good. I’d dreaded the film thinking that no one could pull off that part with Freddie’s larger than life personality, but Rami nailed it. As a family, we’re also Oliver Coleman fans, so to see her winning best female was excellent.
All that said, I’m not sure I’m a great fan of these awards shows. They always feel a little pretentious and show-offy, with everyone trying to get seen, and patting each other on the back in a mutual self-congratulatory way.
I used to feel a little like that at University. I belonged to a Christian community made up of men and women from all over the globe and from every strand of Christian tradition. We went to different colleges across London, and so attending Imperial, a science and engineering college, this gave me the chance to rub shoulders with artists, budding authors and historians as well as physicists and mathematicians – not to mention women, a rare breed at Imperial in those days, except in Biology. As a multinational group, we picked up some traditions from all over the place. One such tradition came I believe from America. At the time as a repressed Englishman, I hated it. This tradition was called honouring. When ever someone had a birthday, at the nearest gathering to it, they would be dragged up to the front and ‘honoured’ by which I mean everybody got to say what they liked or admired about them. Highly embarrassing and definitely not an English thing to do.
Looking back though, I now love the idea. This is not to mean that I wouldn’t still find it embarrassing, I would and I suspect I’m not alone, but that I now recognise its value, especially in our culture where we’re not so good at giving praise or receiving it. I think it is good to recognise and value each other’s strengths and celebrate them as God given gifts. This encourages people, shows that they’re valued and this tradition, as awkward and contrived as it might be, nudges us and gives permission to speak.
So today some homework. Before you leave, make sure you honour someone here today and if you get in the swing of it, don’t stop at one, just keep going!
Drop In talk 26.02.19
Posts labelled ‘From the Pastor’s Pen’ reflect our ministers’ views and not necessarily those of Wormley Free Church/The Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion