Scripture: Revelation 1:1-8
Key verse: (8) ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
Reflection: “Don’t start faster than you plan to finish.” Some free advice I once received from a friend of mine who spent one summer hiking through Wales and Scotland. And while he was eminently qualified to give such advice its nothing you and I didn’t learn reading Aesop’s Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. Perhaps I shouldn’t say learn as much as heard — it is advice we have heard, as I for one still need to learn how to apply such wisdom. I have started many runs in the morning full of energy, certain I could keep up the pace only to find that I was finished long before the run was.
It’s different with Jesus. I don’t know how he would do with a 3 mile run at 5 a.m. but with his life, ministry and in ushering in of the kingdom of God, he was prepared to finish how he started. That is to say that while he grew up, he did not grow away from the Christ child whose birth we celebrated days ago.
His birth told us about his life and death: people and places you didn’t expect would be lifted up, trust would be needed, the poor welcomed, the forgotten remembered, and the saviour of the world would be cradled by some planks of wood.
Birth and death though opposite share much don’t they? Neither one we expect or can control. And ultimately we are carried and held by others — completely vulnerable and helpless.
This is not to strike too somber a chord during this festive time as a new year approaches. It’s more of a reminder that wherever we find ourselves right now, at the end, beginning or deep in the middle with no clear direction either way — Jesus is present. Whatever the new year holds, Christ is already there. And if Christ is there then we are far from hopeless.
Prayer: God of our past — thank-you.
God of our future — trust you,
God of the present we claim you.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].