The First and the Last

Readings: Psalm 90; 2 Samuel 7:18-29; Revelation 22:12-16

“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay everyone according to everyone’s work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolators, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Revelation 22:12-16, NRSV

[Revelation is an example of apocalyptic literature – a graphic and larger-than-life depiction of the end of everything. It is a genre written for those in dire situations, who are already living in calamity. It is gospel, good news, for the oppressed because it offers this truth: there is nothing that prevents us from returning to the God who created us and loves us.]

All that is comes from God, from the first moment of creation through this very moment. That includes you, me, and everyone else. There is no one who didn’t come from God’s loving, creative act; there’s no one who won’t return to God’s loving embrace. It’s the here and now that seems to be a place of separation – from God, each other, and the earth itself.

Most of us, not all, are not living in a living hell that cannot be changed no matter what actions we take. For us, Revelation’s stark images and larger-than-life metaphors don’t give comfort because they aren’t written for us. But they can spur us to act for those living in those dark places. They also remind us that God is the last word as well as the first – our end as well as our beginning.

Jesus, show me how to trust in you in this space between the first and the last. Amen.

Published by

Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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