I confess, I’m the one who reads the last half of the last chapter of a book first. Well, not first, exactly, but about 20% of the way through, after I get to know and love the characters, I have to be sure the ending is something like “happily ever after.” I also like to know the ending of a movie … I know, I know, it drives my husband and daughter crazy when I continually ask for spoilers about the Game of Thrones (they’ve read the books). But, to be fair, killing off beloved characters in the first season is a bit difficult. I want assurance that it all comes out ok in the end.
This chapter is about the end, the last page of the story. And, yes, it’s ultimately a happy ending. Unlike the fear filled stories we read in stories like the Left Behind series and other end times novels or movies … The Christ Story is one of redemption, resurrection, and renewal. It is a vision … and like most visions (and some dreams), it is both vivid and surreal. There is a non-realistic, yet somewhat symbolic (or just plain weird) truth in the vision.
I’m struck by the repeated use of “in the beginning, is now, and always will be” phrasing, the referral to Christ as the beginning AND the end, the alpha and the omega. There is a nonlinear aspect of dreams and visions that I find fascinating … In this case, it is both a promise of what is to come and an assurance that it’s already done. Sure, there’s a hope for the world to come, but there’s also a recognition that the new kingdom is already here. Jesus is already at the door … Knocking. We only need to open the door.
I’m not one who is especially motivated by promises of heaven, but I am passionate about the new creation that was, is now, and ever shall be. The vision of a reality filled with love and goodness and justice and joy … No tears, no sorrow as those things are over, done … Those chapters are closed, and the sequel? It’s okay, more than okay, praise God.
I used to have a magnet on my refrigerator that said, “In the end everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” But it’s not something we passively wait for … No, it’s and ending we get to participate in. Jesus is at the door knocking … Inviting us to be a part of the story.
So, what’s the next chapter in your life?