Grace and the Television


Toff that I am PBS Masterpiece has been on my DVR list for a long time. So having something like Downton Abbey come along was something new. I now had someone else watching with me. I had to endure a gentle ribbing from the Parson’s Wife for my Soap Opera and Chick-Flick attachment. I’m still waiting for that “Thank-You” for forcing her to watch season 1.

I got to watch the last episode a second time as my wife missed it while out of town. I commented to her that I couldn’t think of a better ending of a story line or a more moving scene in the entire story than Daisy and William’s Father. As characters they are far away from the heat of the story, yet they stole the show in a true way.

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who saw that. The Mockingbird commenting on Downton…

Daisy has done everything she can to stiffarm Mr. Mason. She has clung with all her strength to an understanding of love as quid pro quo, that you can’t receive love from someone who you don’t love equally first. For Daisy, love is a matter of emotional righteousness, if you will, of this feeling for that feeling, and you can hardly blame her. But it is a conception which causes her immense suffering, because ultimately, it blurs her vision. She is entirely caught up with her perception of the situation. When Daisy finally catches a glimpse of how she is perceived, by William and consequently by his father, the scales fall from her eyes. What she thought was going on and what was actually going on were two different things. Mr. Mason is not relating to Daisy on the basis of her emotional righteousness – her feelings of affection – but on the basis of his son’s. And on that basis he wants to adopt her!

This is about as uncanny an illustration of God’s grace as we could hope to find on network television. That God relates to you and me not according to feelings or attributes that we bring to the table, but those that his son brought…

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