The Beginning and the End

Photo by Akil Mazumder:

NOTE: This post was originally published at

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new … It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment …” (Revelation 21:5-6).

My husband and I recently watched Station Eleven, a post-apocalyptic television series based on the 2014 novel by Emily St. John Mandel. In the show, most of humankind is wiped out from a deadly flu virus. The few survivors must find ways to cope in a world without technology, governing systems, or modern conveniences. 

I know what you’re thinking: Why would anyone want to watch a show about a fictional pandemic when we’ve literally been living through the real thing? 

For us and many others, the appeal of Station Eleven is that it’s ultimately a story of hope. The pollution-free landscapes are lush, the waters clear, the night skies crowded with stars. Lonely characters find community. Aimless characters find meaning.

In an article for YES! Media, Leigh Finke argues that part of our culture’s long-held fascination with apocalyptic stories is that, even amid death and destruction, they often offer hope for a reimagined future. Literature scholar Wes Burdine, quoted in Finke’s article, puts it this way: “End-of-the-world narratives allow us to imagine large scale rebirth and play into our utopian desires.”

In other words, the popularity of apocalyptic stories reveals an important truth about humanity: We yearn to see the world reborn into a better version of itself. 

Christians know that our innate desire for utopia exists because God’s design for the world was utopicIn the beginning, the world was perfect, untainted by sin. The landscapes were lush, the waters clear, the skies crowded with stars. Humans lived in harmony with each other and with God. 

Then, of course, sin entered the world and brought with it disease, corruption, destruction, and death. But God made a promise—through the death and resurrection of his son Jesus, the world would one day be restored to perfection. 

Scripture makes it clear that we cannot know when the world will end. But we do know that it won’t be anything like in the movies, where our only hope for restoration lays with feeble, fallible humans. As Christians, we rest in the assurance that when Christ comes again to make all things new, it will be more wonderful than even the most creative human minds can comprehend: “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). 

Prayer: Almighty Father, the Alpha and the Omega, forgive me when I place my hope for renewal in the things of this world instead of in you. During these especially strange and trying times, help me to surrender my anxieties to you and to trust in your perfect promises. Amen.

Here’s to the Parents

I love May – the bustling activity, the outdoor gatherings, the blooming gardens, the excitement over the end of school, and the promise of summer adventures. Simultaneous exhaustion and thrill. My current season of life with babies and young school-age children means that I feel a sense of accomplishment for getting to the end of the year. We made it. Perhaps you feel the same, but perhaps you also haven’t gotten the affirmation you earned. Today’s post is for the parents who did their best this year (or any year!)

Here’s to the parents who got their kids to school on time (most of the time)

Here’s to the parents who color-coded their calendars by kid

Here’s to the parents who didn’t

Here’s to the parents who could’ve made a fortune working for Uber

Here’s to the parents who forgot what time practice started and showed up a little late

Here’s to the parents who bought Happy Meals, packed sack lunches, and purchased snacks

Here’s to the parents who stirred supper on the stove while calling out spelling words

Here’s to the parents who stayed up late washing that special shirt

Here’s to the parents who made grocery runs on the way to school because they forgot something needed for a project

Here’s to the parents who made sure their kids had breakfast 

Here’s to the parents who sent their kids with a kiss and a prayer

Here’s to the parents who prayed for their kids’ teachers, knowing the kind of morning they’d already had

Here’s to the parents who honored their kids’ teachers

Here’s to the parents who are teachers

Here’s to the parents who cried with their kids

Here’s to the parents who didn’t know the answer but learned it with their kid

Here’s to the parents who resisted the urge to shout out the answer

Here’s to the parents who grew

Here’s to the parents who signed hundreds of slips of paper

Here’s to the parents who lost slips of paper and gave themselves grace

Here’s to the parents who know they aren’t perfect but do their best to point their kids to the one who is.

He sees you. He knows where you failed, he knows where you succeeded. He loves you and he loves your kid.

“fear not, for I am with you;

    be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…For I, the Lord your God,

    hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, “Fear not,

    I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:10,13)