This week, I realized that the LOST finale will be airing on the Christian celebration of Pentecost. Pentecost literally means “fiftieth day” and is historically connected to the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. For Christians, Pentecost is also the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the early followers of Jesus during this Jewish festival, as recorded in the 2nd chapter of Acts.
While we consider this day to be the “birthday of the Church” (at least that’s what we say during the children’s sermon), Pentecost is really about the commissioning of the New Humanity in Jesus, where the Church begins to live into the reality of the Kingdom/Reign of God on earth:
Acts 2:42-47 – "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
Acts 4:32-34 – "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need."
They come together as a new community…as one…to break bread together and remember Jesus…to break themselves open and pour themselves out for others…and they changed the course of human history. Because of Jesus, everything changed.
While it might be a stretch, perhaps this is an indication of what is to come on the New Island. Isn’t it possible that the New Island, under the protection and direction of Jack, will be a place of true community…sort of a little Kingdom of Heaven on earth?
Also, depending on your theology, this vision of the Church can be seen as a return to Eden, the place where everything was as God intended it to be, or redemption from the Fall, where humanity screwed it up. I think there are some significant parallels to what many believe happened in the Garden of Eden and what has happened on the island (maybe that's why Mother and Esau/MIB have been referred to all along as "Adam and Eve").
Adam and Eve had all of paradise to themselves but were told not to eat of the tree that brought knowledge of good and evil. Jacob and Esau/MIB were told never to enter the cavern of the golden light…the “source” and “heart of the island”…the place of “life, death, and rebirth”.
Adam and Eve ate of the tree and evil was introduced into the world (or at least their awareness of it). Jacob threw Esau/MIB into the cavern and Smokey – which we are led to believe is pure evil – was set free on the island (and seeks to be set free in the whole world).
Adam and Eve, in their innocence and immaturity, didn’t have categories for nakedness and shame and were shown them by the evil one. God asks them, “Who told you that you were naked?” Jacob and Esau/MIB didn’t have categories for death (“What’s dead?”) and were evidently shown (to Esau/MIB) them by Smokey in the form of their dead mother. Fake Mother asks how Esau knows things she didn’t teach him or was protecting him from.
So, just as Jesus defeated evil and death through his death and resurrection, which the Church bears witness to through the New Humanity and in its actions in the world, somehow Jack will defeat Smokey, containing evil on island or eliminating it altogether and create a New Island of reconciliation and hope!
Or I could just be crazy…
And I’m excited to find out!