We spent last evening with colleague friends of my husband's and had a tasty dinner out, followed by tea and dessert at their home. It was a nice, calm evening of conversation and laughter.
We relaxed in their tv room sipping tea, eating small squares of fabulous ginger brownie and watching a couple of episodes of the British tv series "Rev", actor Tom Hollander's depiction of a harried, beleaguered inner city Church of England priest.
It is hilarious, well acted, well scripted (remember it is a British series so the language warning is well warranted) and does point out some true foibles of priestly ministry and parish life. It isn't the same kind of ridiculous satire as "The Vicar of Dibley" and it is a somewhat more honest depiction of what priests have to deal with and what they personally can struggle with.
The thing that struck me though, despite being able to truly relate to too many of the situations that arose in both episodes, is that the series is still an outsider's take on church and church life and ministry. Some of the skewers through church life are fairly accurate, but there is nothing to suggest that God is a being capable of transforming either the problems or, more importantly, the characters of any of the parishioners. Faith is portrayed as a completely personal rather than a community lifestyle. So, in that sense it isn't at the end that much different than other series written and produced for the purpose of showing up all the things that can and often do go wrong in the world wide family of Christian believers.
I enjoyed watching it and had many a laugh and many a "yup, that is absolutely the way it is" moment, but I would really like sometime to see an equally pointed comedy about the church that is actually written and produced by insiders to the faith.