Revelation 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near. 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. 8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
This is the introduction to an evocative collection of poems, images and imaginative prose. These words were originally written by Bishop John to give courage to seven churches in Asia Minor, who were fearfully facing the might of the Roman ‘beast’, However, these spiritually rich images have transcended the history of the First Century, and are useful whenever Jesus-followers are afraid of the prevailing ‘beasts’, ‘dragons’ and ‘monsters’ who inhabit the politics and business of our society.
The Good News of Christmas is the reminder that the ‘monsters’ who inhabit our world are temporary. Jesus - the Alpha and the Omega - was there before these evil ‘beasts’ arrived; and the kingdom-values of Jesus will outlast their temporary power.
Second Sunday in Advent
3.The Coming of Christ
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 26.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.