Dear Friends,
One of the biggest controversies of the summer - and perhaps of the whole year - is to do with the appointment of a female actor to take on the role of Dr. Who.
Jodie Whittaker will be the thirteenth "Time Lord" replacing Peter Capaldi in the role.
Some people have said that they will not watch Dr. Who ever again following this appointment because Dr. Who should always be male. No doubt others will watch it precisely because of this new appointment. As folk say, "You can't please everyone all of the time".
In many ways the producer of the series has taken a brave step in making this appointment because if it fails to maintain its viewing figures, then he will be held responsible. Likewise, a lot is resting on Jodie Whittaker's shoulders - for she needs to put on the very best of performances to justify her appointment.
Since Dr. Who is only fiction, and indeed perhaps never intended to be gender specific, this new appointment probably isn't the biggest event in the world at this time. There are much more important things to get our minds around.
But it does speak about progress in some respects. For the appointment of this actor and indeed any woman in a role which has traditionally been held by men, speaks about the right way to treat humanity. When girls see appointments such as this, then they are encouraged to reach for the universe and beyond - there should be no glass ceilings for them to break through.
In our own lifetime, we have seen this with the decision to ordain women to the priesthood and, more recently, to the House of Bishops in the Church of England. Those women, who were first in those roles, had to prove to a sceptical church that they were more than capable of taking on those responsibilities. And by being caring, spiritual and loving priests, that, they have done.
Of course the same goes for men taking on roles in professions that have mainly been held by women, such as nurses and midwives.
The Christian Gospel is based on Jesus who saw beyond a person's outward appearance to see the person below the surface and all their potential.
We, as followers of that gospel are called to do the same.
Jesus would, I am sure, have approved of the thirteenth "Time Lord" as much as he did the first twelve.
Ian R