When I was little I hardly EVER managed to read through an entire book without taking a sneak peek at how it ended – even if it was a mystery! (Okay, maybe I sometimes still do that, even as a grown-up.) There were plenty of people who said that I was cheating. They claimed that knowing a book’s conclusion would ruin my reading experience. That usually wasn’t the case at all for me – actually, it was quite the opposite. When I tried to be a “good girl” and read a book straight through from start to finish, I often found myself impatiently rushing through the narrative to find out what happened next. In the process, I overlooked important details and missed many beautifully-written passages. But when I already knew how the tale would end, I read with much less anxiety. I slowed down, got to know the characters, and fully entered the story.
Many of the Scriptures we traditionally read in November worship have to do with the “end of the story” – including passages about heaven, Jesus’ return to earth and creation’s ultimate fate. Come for a Biblical sneak peek that can challenge, confound, and surprise us…but just might also help us slow down and fully live into our own stories with greater compassion, courage and hope.