February 2021

February 2021


“I am the Alpha and the Omega”

Revelation 22.13 (NRSV)


Revelation belongs to the body of apocalyptic literature: it is poetic and visionary, expressing its meaning through symbols and imagery. A book of visions, it bear comparison with Isaiah’s picture of God as the eternal being and it is there that we find the clues to the meaning of the various symbols and imagery (Isaiah 44.6, Isaiah 41.4)  


Jesus existed before time, before the creation of the universe (John 1.1). As the first cause of all that exists (vv2-3), Jesus cannot be limited by the word Alpha; as the Omega, he is not the ‘end’ as we know it but will continue to exist into the everlasting, never-ending future. We turn to the Christ of 2000 years ago to begin our search for the eternal reality of God: and it is through knowing Him now that we arrive at knowledge of God, in whom ultimate meaning and purpose is to be found.


In our contemplative time we listen to God, allowing Him to find us, actively surrendering our will to that of God: we follow Jesus’ advice in Matthew 16. 25, to find ourselves by losing ourselves. We seek to hear God speaking to us in the quiet of our hearts, making space for Him by listening to His Word, focusing on it to the exclusion of all else. Thomas Merton wrote ‘Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather it is a deepening of the present and unless you look for it in the present, you will never find it’. We are trying to deepen that present.


And as we do so, we discover yet another paradox: that it is by confining ourselves to this present moment that we enter into the eternal. Without taking thought for the moment before, or the one that is to come, we allow each moment to be the cause of the next.  Then we are ready to grasp God, who is close beside us at each step and at each moment, in all the various situations that arise along the way. In ‘The Sacrament of the Present Moment’ it is described as ‘responding to every movement of grace like a floating balloon’. We have to allow ourselves, in faith, to float in time; to float in a vision of eternity.  


A Watchword might be “I am the beginning and the end”