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: At the start of every funeral, I remind the gathered congregation that the Lord God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last – “who is and who was and who is to come . . .” This message of hope, offered to early Christians who were suffering and dying, can sustain us in the face of sadness and grief. This is also the message of Advent and Christmas when we are reminded that God is with us now and always. God will come again to right every wrong and restore the world. The God described in the book of Revelation is personal, glorious, faithful, and almighty. When Jesus comes again everyone will see him. Quite a change from the few people who witnessed the birth of a little baby in Bethlehem!
So, as we move through Advent, let us remember that many people are struggling and suffering in the world. Horrible things are happening that we don’t want to think about like war, torture, poverty and starvation. You may be suffering because of terminal illness, grief, or broken relationships. No matter what wilderness you or someone else is living in right now, God is still the Alpha and Omega who is and who was and who is to come. There is hope, even when it’s hard to see the signs. Of course, we all want trouble to go away. We want God to restore us to joy and happiness — to help us escape the hard realities of human life. But, we know that there are times when we have to wait and walk the difficult path. God is with us even when we feel like our faith is failing us — even when we despair. Remember, God is the Alpha and Omega who is and who was and who is to come. Cling to this hope while reaching out for support or giving support to one another in the good times and in the bad.
Prayer: Almighty and glorious God, we pray for those who are suffering pain and heartache. Help us to be instruments of your hope and love as we draw near to those who need compassion and care. Help us to rely more fully on you for strength and wisdom during this Advent season and always. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[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].