S (Scripture): Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God – the one who is, and who was, and who is still to come – the All-Powerful!
O (Observation) & A (Application): The Revelation was written at a time of severe persecution of Christians – the body of Christ. As a way to ensure that their God (and ours) was not abandoning them in these difficult times, God sends a messenger – an angel – to reveal God’s actions at what seems like the end of days. God reminds John that he is the All-Powerful.
As an apocalyptic writing, I pay attention to Revelation’s use of imagination and the power of its symbolic language. I try not to figure out how it speaks to any type of prediction of the future. That is folly.
Instead, the imaginative words of this text stand on their own, with no help needed from me as to overlay the text with modern political moves.
As for the quote I listed above…I love the present tense listed first. God always “is,” first. God is present. God is life. God is now. And, God was and will be. Think back to God introducing God’s own name to Moses at the burning bush: “I am who I am” (or “was” or “will be”).
To read Revelation as a code is to miss the point. The way in which God is revealed here is important. The medium (revelation) is the message. The way God is revealed is as important as understanding the revelation itself.
God is knowable. God is present. Let us celebrate God as the beginning and the end – All Powerful!
With God as all powerful, I pray that we can be a people who do not fear refugees and those fleeing from their own oppression. In our deepest needs, God has set us free. I hope we can be a nation who aids others in their pursuit of freedom.
P (Prayer): Lord, you are Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Watch over all who will be gathering for a demonstration in Nashville this morning and this evening as a show of support for allowing refugees to continue to be welcomed in our state of Tennessee. Amen.