The Last of Us

No, it’s not about Presbyterians or The Institutional Church in general.

The Last of Us is an HBO drama based on a video game about what happens on earth when a human fungus exacerbated by global warming causes a pandemic that creates zombie killers. Maybe it doesn’t sound like your kind of entertainment, but it’s actually quite excellent. We see what – not surprisingly – happens when there are lots of guns and terror. There’s desperation. There’s heroism.

A Last of Us fan told me that this show verifies his belief that there is no hope for the world. I’m also a fan but I have a different perspective. I’ve never played the video game, so I don’t know what happens in the end, but my personal faith in what happens “in the end” of human life is fairly hopeful. I could not be part of The Church without the daily signs of hope I am privileged to witness – even in the throes of pandemic/environmental/corporate greed-tinged human life.

Every day I see people who choose to do the right thing. Every day I watch leaders decide to lift others before they lift up themselves. Every day I observe colleagues whose own lives are heavy with grief yet they sit with others in theirs.

And it’s also true that we have congregations that will close in the next 3-6 years. The last of their members are passing away. And the question is how will they exist as the last of that particular congregation?

  • Will the last of these members continue to make efforts to serve their neighbors?
  • Will the last of these members turn inward and serve only each other?
  • Will the last of these members look forward to leaving a legacy of hope and faith?
  • Will the last of these members remember that we are promised resurrection – and it happens on earth as it happens in heaven?

There is great beauty and hope we can offer even if we are the last – the last sibling, the last neighbor, the last church member. The God who creates us to be in community with each other promises that – with resurrection – comes community again.

Image from the HBO drama The Last of Us. Nick Offerman plays the role of a lifetime in Episode 3 as a Massachusetts survivalist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.