Pastor’s pondering

            Last year, the Christian radio station, K-Love, was having a trivia contest.  During this particular contest they asked this question – “How does the Bible end?”  For many days and weeks, I heard a lot of different answers.  Of course, everyone opened their Bibles and turned to the last verse found there – “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints.  Amen.” (Rev 22:21, NRSV).  From this people talked about grace, the saints, and even just that final word “Amen.”  Unfortunately, all of these were wrong.  I asked a friend of mine what he thought the answer should be, to which he said, “That’s easy.  Jesus wins!”  Well, while that may be true, it still wasn’t the answer to the trivia question.

            Eventually the answer was revealed by what must have been an English teacher or a member of the grammar police – “With a period.”  Yes, folks, the Bible ends with a period!  Now, I’ve spent the past several weeks and months really pondering this.  Some might say that I’m overthinking it, but please hear me out.

            How do sentences usually end?  With a question mark, exclamation point, or a period, right?  Obviously, the Bible can’t end in a question mark, for there’s no question to what The Word has conveyed if we’ve really been paying attention.  And an exclamation mark is only used to express urgency or yelling of what is being said.  Sure, I’ve wanted to shout the good news from the rooftops, all in order to get people’s attention to the urgency of the situation before us.  Yet, it is a period that this there.

            For those that are not aware, the word “Amen” is used in the same sense as the phrase “so be it.”  It is a single word statement of conviction and assurance of everything stated beforehand.  And remember, this word is conveyed not with a question or exclamation, but a period – the punctuation used at the end of a declarative statement or imperative command.

            In the United Kingdom this punctuation is called a “full stop,” an expression of completion.  Nothing more to come after.  Just pay attention to what was before it.  Now what a more fitting conclusion to the Bible could there be?  The Word conveyed over thousands of years by multiple authors with different perspectives.  Yet, in the end – so be it.  Nothing more needs to be said.  Just pay attention to what has already been declared and you’ll have the full message without the need for any yelling or asking of questions.

            Is this how you feel about the Bible?  Or do you still find yourself full of questions and the desire to scream and shout out of confusion?  Perhaps this year we should all take the time to really pay attention for in the end, even amidst God’s grace for all the saints through Jesus Christ, all that will remain is that period.  Amen.

                                                                        Always pondering,

                                                                        Pastor Steve

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