"Good always wins."
Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard
The characters in Sunday night's "winter finale" of ABC's Once Upon a Time faced formidable odds. Trapped in an enchanted cell by the evil queen, they apparently had no hope of finding their way from the fairy tale world back to ours.
But suddenly, a light went on in Snow White/Mary Margaret's eyes, and she blew magic ink at the cell's door, dissolving it. "Good always wins," she declared.
Indeed, that was the theme of the night, the triumph of good over evil. That's what happens in most fairy tales: the Prince finds Cinderella, Snow White awakens with true love's kiss, Belle breaks the Beast's curse.
But in real life, it can feel as if evil has good in a choke hold. All it takes is a few minutes reading the local and world news to discover that the heart of man is "...is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick..." as Jeremiah says.
This world is currently on loan to the powers of darkness, but it won't always be so. There is reason to hope, and no more so than in this Christmas season. The theme of last week's Advent devotional was hope - the sure, certain, Biblical type of hope. The hope that rests in a promise that is guaranteed to be fulfilled.
Jesus' birth provided us with a Savior, a way to reconcile with a God from whom we deserve nothing but wrath because of our sinful nature. But He also gives us a future hope, that of a world restored to what it would have been had not sin entered the Garden, a world rules in perfect justice by the One who is in His very nature righteousness.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
Isaiah 11:1 - 5
Yes, good always wins, eventually.