This week I was musing about why I found it very satisfying that Ron and Hermione finally get together at the end of the Harry Potter series and found it influencing my thoughts when I switched to my bible study on Revelation 21. "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:2) It is almost surprising that the finale of history is a romance. I remember that when I was in high school I loved reading books with a romantic storyline starting with the protagonists hating each other because they are both rather flawed people. As the story progresses they are placed in situations where courage or honour is revealed in them and they start to earn each others' respect and eventually affection. Usually it is a story of love bringing healing to the characters' past trauma and consequently resolving many of their character flaws. I realise now that there are many unrealistic things about this storyline: human love does not have the power to bring healing like this; a natural progression towards increasing honour and decreasing flaws is not always the norm in reality. But here is true reality: the love that heals and saves and enables us on a path towards courage and honour is not human love but the love of God demonstrated as he gives us his beloved son. In reality, our flaws are not caused by life's circumstances but is a deep set sinfulness that we cannot resolve without supernatural intervention. We are born rejecting God, we have nothing to commend ourselves to him, but he chooses to love us anyway. He loves us to the point of sacrifice and his love enables our character to move towards honour and courage in a way that makes us a fitting bride for Christ. Goodness, love, mercy, justice, glory, joy, beauty are the conquering forces at the end of this story God is weaving into human history. Revelation shows us that at the end of history, evil is defeated both in Satan, in Satan's vessels of power, in the fall of the corrupt world system, in the judgement of sin and in the salvation of sinners by the sacrifice of Christ. All the other stories (including Harry Potter) of good overcoming evil, of love conquering hate are merely echoes of this great cosmic story written by God.
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