This entire series boils down to Jack's life, we started with him and ended with him. Prior to the crash of Oceanic 815 he was "LOST" was not a man of faith, only a man of science. The island changes that. Just like our lives today. There are mysteries we may or never will know but we understand at some point we all have a purpose and are brought to this world to fulfill that purpose. One of my favorite sayings is, "Everything happens for a reason" The crash of Oceanic 816, happened so Jack could understand and fulfill his purpose in life, to find his way. All the other characters were part of Jack's life on the Island, they played a part in helping him find his way, and along the way they found their purpose. This season's Sideway's timeline did not have living people (IMHO) but rather the final step in understanding the purpose of life so you can carry on in the afterlife.
Ana-Lucia and Faraday were not ready as they have not approached their purpose or understanding of their mortal lives yet.
I believe when Jack's dad said to him, "Everyone dies at some point, some died before you and some long after you died" (or close to that) It was Christian explaining to Jack that these people were part of his life, they helped him find his way, and Christian was the Sheppard herding them to their destination.
I think the Island was real but played an integral part in deciding whether a person will continue to be "LOST" (i.e. Michael). It was a pull between good and evil. Good wants you to understand your destiny, while the evil wants to consume you until you are nothing but whisper voices on the Island.
Just my thoughts. Oh and by the way, while many of the "reunion's/awakenings" were emotional, the one that had me on the ropes was the Kate/Claire/Charlie.
Overall, a great episode and I would not love to watch the entire series back and try to piece it all together to see if anything I just said makes sense.
I guess the best way to describe the final scene at the Church is the ending to Titanic, when Rose meets all the people back on the ship after she passes.
This message has been edited by TheOriginalRCF on May 24, 2010 7:27 AM This message has been edited by TheOriginalRCF on May 24, 2010 7:00 AM