“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
In baseball, they call them a “closer.” It refers to a pitcher that specializes in bringing a game to an end with devastating pitches. Most often, they “bring the heat,” or have a nasty pitch that a batter can’t begin to hit. All major league baseball teams have a good closer to bring games to a successful conclusion.
Speakers need a good “closer” too. Recently, I heard a well known celebrity and commentator. This person can fill the airways with insightful analysis and perspective. They seem to never be at a loss for words. By their own admission when they do public speaking, they don’t prepare remarks in advance. Their presentation is a stream of consciousness monologue. While the hour long speech had some interesting observations, when they came to the end of their allotted time, they began to ramble in search of a good ending. They never found it. Their speech kind of disintegrated into nothingness. Rather than leaving the audience inspired and charged up the audience was wondering what the point of the previous 60 minutes had been. This person didn’t have a good “closer.”
As a communicator who uses the vehicle of music, I’ve learned that a good “closer” is crucial. If I’m singing for an hour, people rarely remember the first few songs that I sing. It’s during these opening songs that the audience is deciding whether I am worthy of them investing their time listening. I know this going in. I know that I need to make a strong first impression so I can take them on a musical journey that will hopefully wind up at a place where they are uplifted and encouraged and encounter the Truth. And while I hope that there power moments spread through my presentation, I know that the most important thing is a good “closer.”
As believers who put our faith in Christ, we know that God has provided a great closer. While life is filled with challenges and often disappoints, the end of the story is victorious. The villain of the story is defeated and truth and righteousness reign.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is the 21st chapter of the Book of Revelation. It is here that we find the words, And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Now that’s a great closer.
The Creator of the universe brought the world into being in spectacular fashion. He then introduced our Hope and Redeemer in a way that would satisfy His requirement for justice and our need for grace. And in the end, He “brings the heat.” Jesus Christ provides a triumphant ending to the story and in Christ we have a great “closer.”