28 August 2013

Revelation 21:1-7

“Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.’” (v. 6a)


New heaven, new earth and a new Jerusalem - that is the eternal hope of the Jewish nation, reflected in today's passage from Revelation. This vision is one that has poignant relevance in today's Jerusalem, a city rife with troubles, violence and rivalry. The picture of God sweeping it all away and making all things new is very appealing, especially to those who live with the restrictions and uncertainties faced by ordinary families in everyday situations.

The setting of the centre of this new earth in Jerusalem was inevitable, given that it was indeed the centre of the world for the Jews. Even in their darkest hours in exile, when the promise that they were the special nation chosen by God seemed as if it would never be fulfilled, they dreamed of Jerusalem and its central role in their worship. So this vision of God being with the chosen people in a new world, wiping away tears (verse 4) and bringing new order to things (verse 5) was exceptionally appealing.

Then God makes a statement containing a promise to all who believe and who have worked to conquer evil and bring in this new kingdom: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end" and goes on to promise that such people will be children of God. This promise had already been made by Jesus and is one that we grasp as our own, but it is another reassurance for the present and future.

In the beginning we knew nothing of our birth,
and the history that went before us 
is only experienced through learning, literature 
and the evidence of relics, ruins and recollections.

In the end we shall know of our death, 
but little of what lies ahead of it 
and nothing of what this world will be 
once we leave it.

What we do know is that the God,
who was there at our beginning, 
will also be there at our end 
and can be trusted to see us through.

Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, 
beyond time and space, beyond understanding. 

© Marjorie Dobson

To Ponder

  • What is your vision of a new world? How would it be different to the one you live in?
  • How do you think you could help to challenge the injustices of today?

Bible notes author

Marjorie Dobson

Marjorie Dobson is a local preacher and a writer of hymns, prayers, poetry and short dramatic pieces for use in worship. She particularly enjoys writing character pieces - 'getting under the skin of the real person that hides in the shadows of a good story'.