Angelina Jolie has been looking a bit thin of late. When celebrities who are already thin get even thinner the media usually begins to speculate about eating disorders or other types of illness. Interestingly, it seems that Angelina lost weight while directing a movie. Worry perhaps? Did Angelina get so focused on directing that she forgot to eat? No. Apparently Angelina Jolie took a decision to lose weight because the actors in the movie had to lose significant amounts of weight to accurately portray Japanese prisoners of war.

The main character in the film ‘Unbroken’ is Louie Zamperini, an American Olympic runner who spent forty-seven days adrift in the Pacific Ocean after his aircraft was shot down during World War Two. This was followed by two years as a prisoner-of-war during which Mr Zamperini was treated even more inhumanely than most of the other prisoners.

It appears that Angelina Jolie lost weight not only as an act of solidarity with the cast, but also so to gain an understanding of what it was like for the characters portrayed in the movie. One actor said that Angelina even tried all of his stunts before he did, including some of the punishment scenes. Put simply, the director became one with the cast – one of them.

We humans often struggle to understand why God would want to take on human flesh and then live a life of relative poverty in a land occupied by the army of a foreign dictator. Why not go for the Moses route and opt for a luxurious life in a palace somewhere? But if God had done that He would not have become one of us. The more I read and learn about Jesus Christ the more I understand how important it was for God to be just that – one of us. I can relate to a God who chose poverty over riches, hunger over fine food, and dusty roads and sandals over whatever the Rolls Royce of the day might have been.

P1020630 copy 2And equally God can relate to me. Because He has walked where I have walked. Because God knows my thoughts, and because He understands everything about me, and about my life. There are many gods out there clamouring for our attention. Only one can be real. How do we know which one? The answer for me is stunningly obvious. Only one God demonstrated love in a way that is deserving of the name above all names. Only one God chose to be one of us. He is the God who chose to make an entrance in the beautiful simplicity of a Bethlehem stable. He is the God I want to kneel before and worship.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11 NIV)