And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”And the one who was seated on the throne said,
“See, I am making all things new.”Also he said, “Write this,
for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me,
“It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the beginning and the end.”
The above stained glass window at St. David's depicts the Greek letters "Alpha" and "Omega," and it calls to mind this passage that I shared from the Book of Revelation. These letters are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and they represent our Christian belief that God was there in the very beginning - working and creating this universe which was deemed "good," ... and that God will be there in the end, in the fulfillment of all history, when God will "wipe away every tear from our eyes" and make everything alright, ... and that in the meantime, God is with us now- protecting us, providing for us, guiding us, and working in the world for good. Christians believe God's presence ... and power ... and working for "good" covers everything ... everywhere ... and for all time - from "A" to "Z". And this belief can't help but affect the way we see the world.I've heard it said that there are two kinds of people: those that wake up and say, "Good morning, Lord!" and those that wake up and say, "Good Lord - it's morning!" Granted, I believe we've all had mornings like that, but in general, I think our Christian faith does provide us with a sense of optimism and confidence - it helps us to see the good in things, in people, and in situations, ... it helps us to be thankful - seeing the good in what we have, rather than being frustrated over what we don't have, ... and it helps us be more encouraging and trusting of others - seeing the good in people and giving them the benefit of the doubt, rather than starting out with the doubt.This doesn't mean that we believe that bad things will never happen and that everything in life will turn out well or the way we want it. That's just not a reality in our sinful and broken world. But I believe it does mean that we can take comfort in knowing that God was there in the beginning - creating this world and deeming it good, ... that God is with us nowguiding us, protecting us, and working for our good, ... and that in the end, God will will be there making everything alright. So we may not know what the future holds, ... but we do know who holds the future. And I believe this knowledge can give us a sense of optimism and confidence, ... which affects the way we see the world - allowing us to wake up each (or last least "most") mornings and gladly say, "Good morning, Lord!"
-- Pastor Micah
P.S. - With today's "Daily Bread," we've come to the last (the "Omega") of our stained glass window series. Next week I'll need to be starting a new series. If anyone has a good idea for our next theme, please share it with me. I could definitely use the spark. Thanks.