Life and faith is about more than entertainment and the survival of the fittest.

Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester
Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

I’ve been watching the new Netflix series on the tale of Troy.

This thoroughly 21st Century presentation of Homer’s ancient Greek poem, The Illiad, is entertaining enough.

Although it's a little over-staffed with alpha males strutting their stuff It also offers a rather unsophisticated interpretation of how the ancient Greeks understood the place of religion.

Actually it was about the morality of good and evil, and it was psychologically intelligent.

The world of the gods connected with human experience because the gods could appear in human form.

They could behave like us, make impossible, manipulative demands of us, and then disappear when it suited them.

So this Easter I was struck all over again by how different this idea of gods and religion is from the Christian faith in Jesus Christ.

Pagan Greeks were horrified by the idea of Jesus as a god who was born like us in flesh and blood, not simply in appearance of human form.

Even more shocking was the idea of actual death by nailing on a cross, and resurrection in which the risen body shows the scars of that torture.

The Greek ideal of macho men and divinely beautiful woman are undermined by a Christian ideal of love for what is weak, vulnerable and ridiculed.

It is undermined by the power of love to consume political greed, and to uncover humanity that is its best self in generosity and kindness.

As importantly, the Christian faith presents the resurrection as a statement about the renewal of the earth in beauty.

It is an environmental pledge, that calls us beyond waste and destruction, into a fresh

relationship with how we live as stewards who care for the earth and an inter-dependent life, for which we will be accountable to God, our creator.

Easter flowers, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter lambs: these familiar symbols we have seen over the last few weeks are all expressions that demand attention to how we respect the earth, protect its fruitfulness and honour its creator.

The Netflix series is fine for swashbuckling entertainment.

But life and faith is about more than entertainment and the survival of the fittest.

Our resurrection hope is about the survival of the least in company with the greatest, and the discovery of truth and beauty in everything God has made.

Faith Matters:

Family Activities at Chichester Cathedral: ‘Spring has Sprung!’

Today (Friday 13th April) 2018 from 10.00am – 3pm (Last entry 2.30pm). A fun filled family day to be held in Chichester Cathedral.

Join us to make your own ‘Grow Head’ or design and make all kinds of spring flowers, birds or animals. Search for things that grow and see how many you can track down with the aid of a colourful Cathedral trail before collecting a prize on completion from the shop. There is no need to book just drop in. The cost is £2.50 per child .

This event is suitable for children aged three – 12 years, who must be accompanied by an adult. There will also be a carpeted area available with soft toys for children under 3 years, who come along with their older brothers and sisters. Why not take advantage of the Cloisters café offer of Kids Meals for £1.50 when an accompanying adult buys a lunch item, with a valid voucher? For further details contact Sue on 01243 812497 or email sue.poil@chichestercathedral.org.uk