In today’s New Testament reading (Revelation 1:4-20), John begins to share his vision of the exalted Christ with a declaration from the One who reveals that vision:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8)
Of course, it can be very easy to breeze right through a statement like that, without really contemplating the significance of what it says. But as one of my seminary professors pointed out, this is somewhat different from the way that Christ is described in other parts of Revelation. Whenever the LORD is described from “heaven’s perspective,” He is described in the terms above — as the One “who IS, and who was, and who is to come.” But whenever the LORD is described from “earth’s perspective,” He is described as the One “who WAS, and who is, and who is to come.” Why the difference?
Well, as my seminary professor explained it, we earthly beings experience God in the “flow” of time: we remember what He has done in the past, we celebrate what He is doing in the present, and we look forward to what He will do in the future. But our “earthly perspective” doesn’t reveal the deeper truth of God’s nature, which is that “God IS.” The most important thing of which we need to be aware is that God IS the LORD of the NOW. He’s holding us at this moment. He’s the Master of this day. He is the Victor over every power and every challenge that threatens us…and that’s pretty good news, especially if you — like John — are a “companion in the suffering (and the kingdom, and the patient endurance) that are ours in Christ Jesus.” (Rev. 1:9)
What challenges are you facing today? What developments in the world around you inspire a sense of worry or fear? May you be filled with assurance that you’re a child of the “God who IS” — and that in this moment (as in all moments) there’s nothing that can separate you from His love.