From the Principal
If you have seen the magnificent film 1917, then you will have dipped your toe into the fantastic work of British director Sam Mendes. Mendes's films have a very interesting characteristics which you may not have noticed. It is about the presence of water. Every time there is about to be a death in the film - there will be water in a previous scene. If you have seen The Road to Perdition or American Beauty, you will probably remember that there is a lake, or heavy rainfall, or at times a bath or basin full of water, before there is a really dramatic scene where someone loses life.
This is not an accident. Mendes has reflected on the theme, "The linking of water with death ... speaks of the mutability of water and links it to the uncontrollability of fate. These are things that humans can't control".
It is a contrast to our base perception of water as life-giving. Water is mentioned a total of 722 times in the Bible, more often than faith, hope, prayer, and worship. It is the source of Jesus's first miracle, it is present in so many actions in the Gospels and provides a stirring symbolism for the Holy Spirit. In John, we hear that it is essentially life-giving; '"... the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life".
How does this speak to us today? Yes, as Sam Mendes rightly says, water can be uncontrollable. It certainly feels that way at the minute. But it was a powerful metaphor in the Gospels, whose writers were on the fringes of deserts and used water to sustain life, religious ritual and cleanliness. Whether we find our water in community, family, activity or faith, we must work hard to do the things necessary to make it life-giving, purposeful and self-sustaining.
For our young people, I think it is important to remind them that, despite times of negativity, or despair, or worry, we can find paths that are hopeful, exciting and life-giving. As their guides it is our role to show them that path.
Please take care in this difficult weather and have a lovely weekend.