Faith Matters: Spoiler Alert

Pastor Shawn Hannon
Contributing Writer Pastor Shawn Hannon

There’s a trend in the presentation of viral videos these days. Perhaps you have seen it. The new format of showing videos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is to start just a snippet of the most climatic moment of video, and then to begin the video at the beginning. So if you are watching clips of sporting events, they begin with the knockout punch or the go ahead goal. Or if you are watching videos of renovations, they show the final product right away. From there the video editors roll the tape from the start.

I think we can imagine why videos have begun being shared in this fashion. In an internet age saturated with content, competition is fierce. In world of ever shortening attention spans, the temptation to keep scrolling is real.

Still, this is not usually how you tell a story. Imagine HGTV changing one of its house hunter shows so that you know what the couple picks from the start. Or Law and Order exposing who was guilty and what the punishment was in the first 30 seconds of the episode. Would you keep watching? Probably not. Not every story is meant to be told with the ending solidified.

That said, despite Facebook and Instagram just recently figuring out spoiler alerts, God’s people have been reading the story with the end in mind all along.

Recently I read in Matthew the story of Jesus trying to explain to his disciples that he had to go, suffer, die, and rise. As I heard it I thought, Of course you do! But that wasn’t the disciples’’ reaction. They fought against Jesus’s mission.

They did not know the ending. But we do. When we herald the birth of our new born king, we know the passion and death that await. And more than that, we know the resurrection is coming.

When you are experiencing hardship, loneliness, trial, and uncertainty, may you be reminded that you already know the ending. Every moment in our life starts with a flash forward to God’s mercy, grace, and power calling us to new life. Spoiler alert! Resurrection’s coming.

For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

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Pastor Shawn is a 2010 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, and he began his call at Hope Lutheran Church, Arcade NY that summer. While he spent four years learning and serving churches in South and North Carolina, as a Jamestown, NY native, Western New York has always been home. He is glad to be here. Pastor Shawn and his wife Carol Hannon met while attending SUNY Geneseo in the mid-2000s. They have enjoyed making their home together in Arcade with their daughters Quinn and Perry.   Pastor Shawn has a background in youth and outdoor ministry. He is a former camper and staff person at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center in Bemus Point, NY. He has also served camps in urban settings and oversees in Madagascar. In seminary he was recognized for gifts in Greek and New Testament, and in his senior year was recognized with awards in both Preaching and Biblical Studies. Pastor Shawn continues to emphasize the youth in his ministry, but not simply because they are the future church, but because they are the church of today.  He also enjoys working on service projects, and takes the role of planning meaningful and engaging worship seriously.  He loves helping people find ways to put their passion and energy to work making their community and other people’s worlds a better place. When he is not working at church, Shawn enjoys remodeling and construction projects around his family’s home.  But as busy as he gets, PS always has time for a quick nine (okay, 18) on the golf course. He enjoys playing sports of all kinds and fiddling with his guitar.