I have never watched an entire episode of LOST. I never really got into the show. Last night, with Jody off doing important things like prayer vigils and meeting with friends. . . . I decided the best use of my time was to watch the finale of LOST whilst following the Suns/Lakers online. Yes, I thought that through.
I had mediocre expectations. I'm not a fan of self-important anything, much less self-important T.V. shows (which there might not be a bigger example than LOST). So, I wasn't dissapointed.
What I got was a 2 1/2 hour episode of "The Ghost Whisperer", thankfully, without Jennifer Love Hewitt. (hey oh!)
I know there are many nuances and side stories that they were "wrapping up" with this show. LOST viewers may cringe at my simplifying of the whole thing. I'm sure it was wonderfully intricate. The story I saw had alot to do with dead souls "looking for peace" and a purgatorial-like existence for all involved.
Now, there is a diversity of belief about purgatory amongst those who read this blog,. . . . but I think I'm pretty safe in saying that no one believes purgatory will be like THAT. So, my comments are not about the real beliefs of purgatory, but about LOST's purgatorial archipeligianness. (thank you, thank you. . I"ll be here all week. . . )
All of the characters on the show had already died, apparently. . .and were waiting for peaceful rest. (can we get Ms. Love-Hewitt on the phone?) They find it in a funeral home with a stained-glass window representing all the major world religions. . . subtle.
I"m not looking for LOST to give an orthodox Christian view of the afterlife or anything; the church doesn't need LOST. But, the writers definitely represented A view of the afterlife, one that is, apparently very popular among t.v. writers.
Christians believe that to be "absent from the body" is to be "present with the Lord". There are no tormented spirits in some barren waiting place, (or desert island, or random church), searching for someone to "lead them home", etc. . . . Now, there is some detail involved with the 2nd coming of Christ and where everyone will be at that point, and what that will look like. (not enough time) But, suffice it to say, Christians will be "with the Lord".
I"m reminded of this wonderful truth today as I sing at a funeral for friends. John Ringoen met a tragic death this week, and our family has spent extended time with his family, walking and mourning with them. However, John Ringoen is not LOST, nor wandering about, nor needing anyone to lead him anywhere. John is home. He is with his Savior. We're celebrating that reality today, not hoping for a more restful afterlife. See, John is more alive today than he ever was. Everything makes sense to John, today. Reality has come home to roost for him. . . forever.
John's family have been deailing with this fairly publically, and sharing alot of bible verses, great memories, and hope with all of us. It's funny that some have thought John's family needed to "get mad" and not run so quick to God's Word in a tragic time such as this. To be sure, mourning will affect all of us in different ways, and we should all be patient and caring for one another. But, as Christians, we don't "mourn like those who have no hope", we know this story, we know how it ends, we know where John is today. It doesn't mean we're not sad or angry, or both. But, it does mean that we can hold onto things. It does mean we can be hopeful and encouraged at a funeral, and it does mean that we can run to our Bible and have definitive answers.
I"m looking forward to celebrating John today, but more importantly, celebrating that Jesus conquered death for us, a "sting-less" death for us as Christians. And, I won't be looking for any spirit guides or praying for more "rest" for John. He is with Jesus today. Maranatha, come quickly Lord Jesus.
(for a more detailed look at what the church can take away from LOST, check out Jared's blog today)