Articles in today’s (30 Dec 2021) edition of the Singapore Straits Times:

Covid-19: Record number of infections worldwide in a week
Myanmar: US presses for arms embargo after massacre
WHO warns of ‘very high’ Omicron risk as cases spike worldwide
Concerns in India as hate speech against Muslims grows louder
HK’s Stand News shuts down after police raid, arrests
Floods forecast in 4 Malaysian states from tomorrow
Violence in Gaza after Palestinian president visits Israel

Well, if you needed help getting depressed . . .
This has been a tough year for many of us for various reasons. And if the above articles are anything to go by, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much better anytime soon. Where do we find hope for the year ahead? Where do we find hope, period? Maybe there is something we can learn from Korean dramas.
One of the things Bernice and I experimented with during the lockdown was watching Korean dramas. Our sons guided us as to the ones we should try watching. So, we watched crime procedurals like Partners for Justice and romance ones like Crash Landing on You. Well, some were better than others but they all gripped you emotionally. We also found out that most of them had 16 episodes. Not quite sure why that is the case. In the various episodes, there will be ebbs and flows between good and evil. But episode 15, the penultimate episode, is when evil seems to have triumphed. However, we all know that good will triumph in episode 16. No postmodern ambiguity here. In the end, the good guys win and the bad guys lose. So, what have Korean dramas gotta do with life? They help me to remember that history is waiting for episode 16.
In my daily Bible readings, I have come again to the book of Revelation. I’ve just started so it will be some time before I reach the final chapters. In many ways, though, Revelation chapters 20–22 are the episode 16 of history. In them we see the final defeat of evil, creation renewed, and the end of pain, sickness, and death. Revelation 20–22 provide invitation and encouragement not to give up, but to keep on trusting God and doing good (Psalm 37:3) even when things look dark and God is seemingly absent.
Just as we won’t stop watching a 16-episode Korean drama when things are bleak in episode 15 or in any of the earlier episodes, we must not give up on God or on life when times are difficult. We press on till “episode 16”.
May we look to Jesus to guide us as we enter 2022! Blessings from all of us at Graceworks.

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