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Viewpoint from Tony Mallion for 19th September 2014 

Tony Mallion
Cliff Park Community Church
Trustee, Identity Youth Project
Talk about a surprise. The last person I’d imagine talking about faith in God was James Bond 007. To be more accurate it was the actor Pierce Brosnan, who played the role of the secret agent four times from 1995 to 2002.
In 1tony mallion small web991 Brosnan’s first wife, the actress Cassandra HarrisDove right – herself a star of an earlier Bond movie with Roger Moore - died from ovarian cancer when she was 43. Brosnan eventually remarried but just a year ago his daughter Charlotte died from the same cancer which killed her mother. She was 42. Interviewed recently in the Daily Telegraph about his latest movie the actor was asked how he coped with such difficult periods in his personal and professional life. The answer was unexpected.
“Faith. I have a strong faith, being Catholic Irish that has been maintained throughout my life. I enjoy the ritual of church, prayer. I’m not consistent in it, but it’s within me. The dark times and troubles, they’ll come regardless. You just hope you have the strength and courage to address them and endure.”
It would be so easy to dismiss the Bible and a belief in Jesus as irrelevant relics of the past. But in the New Testament book of Hebrews the writer spells out what real faith is like: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
That might make us think that faith has to be something big, confident and only for special people but Jesus makes it clear that doesn’t have to be the case at all. Here in Norfolk in the home of the world famous Colman’s we know all about mustard and its seed, a plant which grows enormously from the tiniest of beginnings. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus says: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain ‘move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
We might not want to shift mountains – even if we did have any round here – but you get the point.  And two thousand years on perhaps Pierce Brosnan provides some pause for thought telling us how faith in the living God might not remove troubles but helps him to face a very real personal tragedy right now.