Ok ok, I know I'm mixing around fandom references here, but I love this quote from Harry Potter, and I feel like it accurately describes my feelings about beginnings and endings...in life, in fandom, and in Christianity.
Recently, I had the privilege to write a guest blog for the lovely and amazing ladies at Your Biggest Fangirl Podcast about what the end of the Skywalker saga and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker meant to a newer fan such as myself. Which meant that even after I put the figurative pen down from writing the blog, the idea of beginnings and endings still whirled around in my mind, encouraged by watching The Rise of Skywalker three times in the past six days, and with Christmas fast approaching (hope you've gotten all of your fandom-related gifts wrapped!).
The thing is, endings are sad and hard. Do I want the Skywalker story to continue (and do I in fact believe that the end of the movie left some story-trails wide open?) — yes! Do I want my favorite characters to keep making movies because I believe someday I might get to be part of that story (whether through Galaxy's Edge or by getting back out to LA) — yes! I love these characters, and I love this world. But the thing is, while the end of this nine-movie arc has brought tears to my eyes every time I see the trailers and movie, I still waited in eager anticipation and excitement of it. And while I do feel the bitterness of the end, I also believe in the sweetness of knowing the story, as we need to know it, is complete.
Every beginning will ultimately result in an ending. The beginning of a book or movie brings about the resolution. Birth ultimately begets death. And this is what made me relate the end of the Skywalker saga to Christmas.
Much as I have celebrated and awaited the signs, trailers, and the coming of Rise of Skywalker, even more so have I awaited Christmas for the fact that it signifies the birth of Jesus Christ. As believers, we celebrate the birth of our Savior because we know that without Him, we would be forever lost. We know that through His birth and existence, we have hope. And yet...His birth means that His death will also come. We have joy in His resurrection, but first Jesus died. He died for us, so that those who believe in Him may have life.
"I open at the close." - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
To kill Voldemort, Dumbledore knew that Harry would have to die. But Voldemort would not be able to truly kill him, because of Lily's love and sacrifice. To conquer death, Jesus had to die—and then rise again three days later.
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15 NIV)
The thing is, as much as I adore Star Wars (and believe me, it teeters on obsession), I am even more thankful for Christ and what He has done for us. The celebration of his birth is wonderful and exciting, but it does also point us to His ultimate death. But then He rose (and trust me, there will be another blog with that and part of ROS later). So as I celebrate Christmas tomorrow, I will be joyful, despite the bittersweetness that the birth begets death. But in this case, whereas the Skywalkers are truly coming to a close, Jesus brings us eternal life. His ultimate ending brought forth newness and life that will never end. And for that, I am eternally grateful.