I’m not sure I breathed for the first 20 minutes of episode one. It’s re-instated ‘appointment television’, been the subject of office gossip for weeks, and has set the internet alight with conspiracy theories.
Warning: This piece contains spoilers for BB1’s ‘Bodyguard’
I’m talking, of course, about Bodyguard, the finale of which will be shown on BBC1 on Sunday night.
When you strip back the political meddling, the sexual tension, and the ethical conundrums, however, Bodyguard is essentially a ‘whodunnit’, with all the twists and uncertainties that brings.
Watching uncertainty play out on our screens – and then discussing it with friends and colleagues the next day – is addictive. It may often make us feel better about our own unspoken fears and deep-seated anxieties, and we can watch the series safe in the knowledge that, by 10.15 on Sunday night, we will have resolution.
But, whether we like it or not, this is not the case for our own fears and uncertainties. We will soon know who killed Julia Montague (if she’s really dead at all!), and why, but our own fears and uncertainties – personal, professional, national, global – will remain.
Uncertainty is a prevailing, under-the-surface feeling of our culture. In a reflection on Bodyguard, the Evening Standard mused that it ‘meshes with the spirit of the age: our sense of uncertainty, fear of volatility, and suspicion that nothing is predictable’. But how do we live with uncertainty? And what does the gospel have to offer in a world of unknowns, fuelled by anxiety about both the present and the future?
What we have to offer a broken and uncertain world is hope. Some days it may feel ‘sure and certain’, other days it might seem to be the last bit of rope to which we cling.
We may not be able to offer black and white, watertight answers to every personal, professional, national, or global question. But was that ever really the aim? Should it be?
Faith is not about visible proof, or black and white answers. It involves wrestling and questioning, waiting for God in simple confidence.
There is no shame in this – we see it in the lives of people throughout the Bible. Faith means trusting the character of God and the truth of his word. It means dwelling securely in the knowledge that we have been given from answered prayers, fulfilled promises, and God’s prevailing goodness – even as uncertainty swirls around us.