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A reading, reflection and prayer, with Jonathan Rea.

2 minutes

Last on

Thu 18 May 2017 05:43

Prayer for the Day Script with Jonathan Rea

Good morning!
I love the way art, music and film divide opinion. One person thinks La la Land is a stunning homage to musical theatre: someone else considers it frivolous. So it was with Parade – a ballet which premiered in Paris a century ago today. 
It was the work of geniuses. Jean Cocteau wrote the scenario, Erik Satie composed the music, Léonide Massine did the choreography for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and Picasso designed the costumes and sets. An incredible syndicate of radical innovators. The music included typewriters, milk bottles and a pistol. The Cubist costumes were made from solid cardboard which made the dancers look robotic. The plot centres on music halls and the circus – utterly foreign to the culture of ballet.  
But the audience was divided! And at the premier, insults and booing competed with the respectful applause. Erik Satie, composer of those delightful piano Gymnopedies, lost his temper and wrote such an inflammatory postcard to a critic that he ended up being jailed for 8 days. 
It’s hard to persuade people that something is objectively good, whether in the Arts, politics or religion. Jesus spent his life healing the sick, blessing the poor, and challenging the behaviour of the religious and political élite. To some, he was God in the flesh, the very essence of goodness – to others a blaspheming fraud. But St John wrote that all who believed and accepted Him were given the right to become children of God. 
Lord Jesus, your radical teaching and prodigious love have shaped the lives of millions of people. Help us to hate what is evil and love what is good – and grant us the discernment to know the difference.