The Bishop’s E-pistle: Alpha and Omega

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

This week I have had deep conversations with a number of people about major life upheavals. None of them were specifically caused by the pandemic, and yet—it hangs over all of them and makes everything harder. Births, deaths, and sickness; endings and beginnings of relationships. 

It feels like a heavy time. 

Things are changing. The quote above from Revelation is from this Sunday’s lectionary, reflecting the end of the old year and anticipating the beginning of Advent. The Omega followed by Alpha.  The cycle of life and death, beginnings and endings, a process that appears to have a hard stop… but then something new begins again.  

And yet: Christ is the same. St. John’s Apocalypse allows us to catch glimpses of the Reign of God in which we see the heavenly country, and the changeability and transitory nature of earthly life is gathered into one that is eternal and sacred.  Today I am holding on to this, for the sake of my faith, and for the sake of those for whom I am praying. 

I remember, too, words I have prayed many times over the new Pascal Candle at Easter: 

“Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega; His are the times and the ages; to Him be glory and dominion, through all the ages of eternity.”