The Rev. Nathan Leslie ‘10, Pastor, Bessemer Presbyterian Church of Bessemer, Pa.
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
These opening lines from Revelation serve as a powerful reminder that Jesus Christ is Lord of all creation, and that he is coming again to set everything right. This is good news, because we constantly face forces like injustice, suffering, evil, sin, and death, which prove that this world is not as it should be.
Yet because Jesus remains Lord, we know that He is the one who has acted, is acting, and will act to restore our broken world. He has acted to defeat these forces by his life, death, and resurrection, so that when He comes again in glory, he will act to bring about their ultimate end. In the meantime, Jesus is also acting on our behalf. Because of his work, the Holy Spirit brings about the defeat of these forces in our lives so that we inherit freedom, healing and restoration. He confronts these forces in our world as the Gospel is proclaimed and the world is called under the reign of God.
So while our world is not yet what it shall be and we look for the day when all things are made new, may we find hope and peace in the victory of the One who was and is and is to come.
God who was, who is, and who is coming: We thank you that in Jesus Christ, you have begun your loving purpose to restore us and all creation. Reveal in us the truth of your promise and help us to see you at work in and around us as we await the day of Christ’s coming. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.