Christmas always includes ‘The Sound of Music’. This year both the classic Julie Andrews film and the stage show were on television!
Religion and politics come together: a young Austrian woman who believes that God has called her to serve Him is confronted by the power of Hitler’s Germany.
I was reminded that much of the motivation for the systematic murder of European Jews by the Nazis is rooted in the antisemitic writings of the great religious reformer Martin Luther. Politics and Religion…
Many have written on Donald Trump’s political negotiations with religion. My observation is of attempted deals and exploitation from both sides, resulting in division, moral compromise and loss of integrity. All are losers.
In Maria we see greater wisdom than Martin or Donald.
Maria initially believes that to serve God she must be a nun. The Mother Abbess wisely suggests that her vocation lies beyond the walls of the convent.
She learns that God stays in control: ‘When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.’ Her faith is best lived out by influencing her world with compassion and determination.
Conflicts are caused by the politics. Captain Von Trapp opposes the rise of Nazism in Austria; Liesl, ‘sixteen going on seventeen,’ is in love with Rolfe, a member of Hitler Youth…
There is the frequent picture of mountains. There Maria feels at home and enjoys her God’s creation. They are friendly and to be enjoyed, but they also represent difficulties to be overcome – so we must ‘Climb every Mountain’.
Finally the mountains are Maria’s source of escape and safety as the Mother Abbess quotes Psalm 121: ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.’
Maria discovers the security not in the isolation of monastic religion or the idealism of politics but in ‘My help cometh from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.’