I wrote the following for Fellowship’s newsletter this week…I thought I would share.
Sunday night was the series finale of the TV series, Lost. I understand that Kelley and I may be the only people in Fellowship that watch Lost (I find this utterly baffling!), but it was such a poignant cultural experience I thought I would share a bit about it today (there is a spiritual application to this, keep reading!).
Lost features a cast of broken characters who find themselves victims of a plane crash (possibly contrived) on a mysterious island in the pacific that seems to possess sentient characteristics.
Each central character is a broken individual. Jack is a fallen spinal surgeon who inadvertently caused the downward spiral of his spinal surgeon father who quickly drank himself to death. Kate killed the man who was abusing her mother and is a fugitive. Sawyer is a self-loathing con-man seeking vengeance on the man who conned his own parents and caused their murder-suicide. Hurley is a lottery winner whose money and life seem to be cursed. The list goes on.
Each of them are broken. Each of them are essentially alone in the world, isolated from community through the breaks of life or self-imposed punishment.
Lost is known for being a very complicated show with intentional multiple levels of meaning in the plot and development of the characters. One of the great questions surrounding the show is whether the title (Lost) referred to the island or to the souls of the characters themselves.
This question was answered in the finale (in my opinion). More than the odd qualities of the island, the show was about the lost(ness) and the redemption of the characters. Broken individuals came together as a group and as they learned the sordid histories of one another, both intentionally and inadvertently, they began to be the instruments of one another’s healing and path to fullness of life.
Some understood this more than others. There were great discussions of good/evil, science/faith, and other great philosophical issues throughout the course of the show as they struggled with their own brokenness and the possibilities of fullness of life and redemption.
In the end, as the protagonist of the show, Jack Shepherd, sacrifices himself so some of his friends may leave the island and so that the world can continue in existence. As he lay dying, he sees in a type of vision his deceased father and many of his friends (who we come to realize are also deceased) and they appear as they might have been were it not for their great character flaws in life.
Jack struggles to understand all of this and his father tells him, “That’s why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.”
After viewing this I thought about Sunday morning in worship and Sunday afternoon at the Edwards’ house where 60 or so kids, youth, and families gathered for a day of being together on the lake. I thought about preaching on the coming of the Holy Spirit to God’s people and how God’s spirit marks us as belonging to God and binds us together as a family of faith, brothers and sisters in Christ.
I thought about the individuals who make up Fellowship. All broken individuals. Some with serious scars well-healed over time. Many with wounds just now beginning to heal. Many of us with fresh wounds wide open and bleeding that still seriously hurt. But, all of us broken.
We are not so different from the characters of Lost. We have been gathered together, in the name of Christ, to walk with one another, provide community for one another, and to help each other walk the path of redemption and fullness of life in the Spirit.
The words of Jack’s dad have echoed in my ears since Sunday night: That’s why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone. You need all of them and they need you.
That sentence applies to all of us. We are the gathered body of Christ brought together to walk with one another, limp with one another, and skip with one another. Christ has given us each other. Redemption through community. Thanks be to God.
Just for the blog, some further good stuff I’ve read about the Lost Finale:
Best Explanation of Events
On the Importance of Mystery