When I’m worn down and feel drained, I like to remember an end scene. I like to think of a big party where I am personally invited to be with friends and loved ones.
In fiction, there are often closing scenes in great stories that draw us into a celebration, when evil is vanquished and good prevails. I remember the coronation scene at the end of The Lord of the Rings, where the city of Gondor is renewed by the return of the rightful king. I also think about the scene at the end of the Star Wars saga where all the worlds celebrated the defeat of the Empire and look towards a renewed peace.
Why do these endings strike me?
Because they echo another party, one that will come at the close of this present chapter and mark the beginning of a new dawn. John saw this party and recorded it for us, writing:Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
I picture this scene with loved ones, with friends, and departed saints. Not only are my grandparents there, but all those who I have read about from throughout the ages. This party is a future reality, a hope that will be there and an encouragement when things go wrong. This feast full of laughter, wine, and unbridled happiness is coming.
I know it’s not always easy to believe this, it can be a pain to place hope in something down the road, but as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, this feast will get here. The best Thanksgiving dinner you ever had pales in comparison to this one.
Why am I confident in this?
Because the risen Messiah promises it. The dead don’t typically rise, and if they rise bodily, then we ought to listen to them! And the one who conquered death will come to right the world, it might be next Tuesday or the next century, but he will return.
Until he returns, I will place my hope in his promise, for where else can I go? Only Jesus offers the word of life.
What gives you hope?