The first was to imagine an edition of the X-Factor, and against the backdrop of this year’s show where viewers were urged to vote for Mary and save her from going back to Tesco.
So imagine the X-Factor, we have just had the theme, the sonerous voice-over, the reminder that the contestants will giving the performance of their lives, the portentous background music of Carmina Burana, Dermot appears, talks up the show, and then announces the arrival of the X-Factor judges.
The dry ice-pumps, the doors draw back, the fireworks descend from the ceiling, and the judges appear.
“Louis Walsh” says sonerous voice-over man – Louis grins inanely
“Danni Minogue” – Danni smiles, savouring the moment, she might not be here next year,
“Cheryl Cole” – Cheryl stands, salutes her an public
and “Simon Cowell” – the camera cuts to empty space on the stage, dry ice, sparklers but no Simon.
Dermot rushes onto stage, an envelope is thrust into his hand, Dermot opens the envelope, white with shock, reads out it’s contents. Simon has left the show to spend the next thirty three years working on a checkout at Tesco.
The other illustration related to the news that 14,000 families had been displaced fleeing violence in the Ivory Coast.
I had shown my concern about the situation by making the effort to drag my mouse across other more frivolous stories on the BBC webstie to click on the headline. Furthermore, in a remarkable demonstration of International solidarity, I had pressed paged down repeatedly to reach the end of the article.
If I wanted to demonstrate further commitment, I might endeavour to send some money.
I may even take out a direct debit, to ensure my giving was regular.
If I was even more commited I might undertake to pray on a regular basis for the people of the Ivory Coast.
If the depth of my love stretched to its limit, I might choose to leave my job, my family, my home; I might invest my remaining savings in a flight to Nigeria and then on to the Ivory Coast, and resolved to spend the remainder of life with the people of Sierra Leone.
As I left, people might comment, “See how much he cares for these people.”
What must the angels have said the day that the Word left the side of the Father to enter the womb of Mary. “See how much he loves those people… see how much he loves.”
And nine months later they sang
“Glory God in the Highest and Peace to those on whom his favour rests.”