Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Finding Redemption on Lost

There have been a number of bloggers such as Chris Seay who have put a great deal of time into deciphering all the plot twists and turns in TV’s Lost. I am a regular viewer but only occasionally pick up something that seems to have a faith connotation. Of course, this season has been more messianic and apocalyptic in tone!

I was hit in the face with one last night. Ben (Michael Emerson) has been delivered from certain death by John Locke/Man in Black (Terry O’Quinn). As he makes his escape, he is overtaken by Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson), his captor. When she asks him why he is going to join Locke, Ben replies, “He’s the only one who wants me!” Ilana’s replies, “I want you.” She turns and walks away and Ben follows her back to the beach with a look of uncertainty and incomprehension on his face.

My first response was “This is church.” Ben Linus is certainly one of the more vicious characters on this program. He even stood by and watched his adopted daughter, Alex, be killed by assassins who wanted him. In previous episodes, he led in the mass extermination of the Dharma Initiative (including his own father), murdered John Locke, and stabbed Jacob, the island’s apparent benefactor. Although we saw a more giving Ben in the “flash sideways” portion of this episode, the Ben on the island is not a nice guy!

When Ilana accepts him, he is left confused but willing to respond to her invitation. Isn’t this what the church should be about? Although our sins may be abundant, Christ invites us into a fellowship of the redeemed. Each of us is invited to lay aside the baggage that we have accumulated over the years and enter into a new fellowship. Will Ben make the final leap to be included in the little group assembled on the beach? I don’t know, but increasingly, redemption and fellowship are emerging as key themes in Lost.

Now, that’s church!

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