“Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning
and the end.’” (Rev. 21:6a, NRSV)
The late Steven R. Covey, educator, author, keynote speaker, and business consultant, wrote the book (so to speak) on personal and organization effectiveness, entitled “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” The very first habit he presents is to “Be Proactive.” In other words, don’t just sit around and react to the situations of your life, but choose to intentionally respond to life. The second habit, interestingly enough, is to “Begin with the End in Mind.” This essentially says to start with envisioning what you want in the future so that you can plan and work toward it. Of course there are five more habits in his list but I will save them for some future newsletters.
Anyway, it is interesting that Covey’s ground breaking set of guiding principles for personal and organizational effectiveness say that the best place to start is to make a point of connecting where we presently are with where we are ultimately heading. And to be honest, my personal life experience informs me that Covey is not only spot-on with this sage advice, but that it applies to every aspect of our lives—personal and corporate, professional and spiritual.
All this leads to the obvious question: “So, where am I, where are we, heading;” or said differently, “What is the end-game.” Now, from a Biblical and/or theological perspective, this look at the “end-game” is referred to as the study of end-times, and there is perhaps not a more poignant, and vivid, example of such end-times in the Bible than the Book of Revelation. Actually, one can reasonably argue that the Bible, itself, is an example of connecting the beginning with the end, starting with the very beginning of Creation in Genesis, and ending with the ultimate end-game as depicted in Revelation. Taken one step further, we know that Christ was present at the start of Creation, and will certainly be present at the end-times, i.e., Christ’s Second Coming. As the reference passage mentioned above says, Christ is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega; the One who was, and is, and forever shall be.
This eternal presence of Christ is where we are heading as our focus theme as we continue our journey together following Easter Sunday and into the 50 days of Eastertide leading up to Pentecost Sunday. We will be working our way through the Book of Revelation, but with a particular emphasis on the eternal nature of Christ, and more importantly, how that nature may inform us today about our lives and our interaction with the world. I am hopeful that our journey over these next seven weeks will be both fun and informative, as well as thought provoking and conversation generating. And perhaps, the end-game may come to represent to us, not so much the end-of-times, but more the beginning-of-future-times … times that offer greater fulfillment and hope, for us, for the Church, and for the world.
Grace and peace to you from the One who is and was and is coming …
Blessings … Pastor Bob