The Alpha, The Omega and everything in between.
We give God the title of “Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end.” We sing songs about it. We use the term in our prayers and even in daily conversation. But, what does it mean? I have come to the conclusion over the last few months this phrase holds some huge, God-sized implications. (It should, shouldn’t it? It’s one of the names we attribute to God.) First of all, breaking down the phrase grammatically, we see the use of the conjunction ‘and.’ This implies God is both the beginning and the end at the same time. Here we dive into the “omni-” and say God is omnipresent. For the longest time I believed this omnipresent character of God existed in the present. Kind of like God’s spirit was a fog or mist which covered the entire globe. However, the Alpha and the Omega implies God’s omnipresence exists beyond the constraints of time and stretches across the past, the present and the future. Yes, I am implying God is tearing down the wall of Jericho, coming out of the grave, and opening the gates to a new heaven and new earth at the same time. I think of it like this: (If you have a pencil and paper handy, it could be helpful) we exist on a line. We are constrained by time. So, I have a line. God exists outside of time, so he isn’t on my line. Instead, he is a circle around my line. By being the circle, he exists at every point on the line at the same time. This new perception of God’s omnipresence has dramatically changed my view of the hope I have in him. For as long as I can remember, I have allowed the past to dictate my future actions. We “learn from our mistakes” and we study history so “history doesn’t repeat itself.” We fall into temptation and then have to “climb the ladder” back into God’s presence or we’re “back to square one.” It seems we believe there is this repentance period we must endure before we can call on the name of the Lord again.
Just the other day, as we were making our pagoda trek across the Maesariang valley, I thanked God for being instantly accessible. Climbing a billion stairs and visiting a million different funny shaped buildings isn’t part of God’s requirement for us to enter into fellowship with him. But, we act like it. Our God is instantly accessible any time and any place. This repentance period is a sham to keep us from drawing near to a God who loves bigger and better all the time. When we live like this, we are constantly looking over our shoulders, allowing the past to dictate the present as it moves into the future. Here is where my thoughts began to change. Surely there is more than regretting past mistakes and living in past heartache as life goes on, right? Yes. What if instead of the past pushing the present into the future, the future is pushing the past out of the present? Enter the Alpha and Omega; stage right.
Instead of living in bondage of past heartache, we live in freedom of a glorious hope as adopted children of Christ himself. If Christ is the Omega, we have only to set our eyes on him and allow his magnificence to push all thoughts of past pain from our present condition. And as we allow his righteousness to permeate our present nature, each day becomes better than the last. Each day more rich. Imagine days blending together to form a glorious crescendo which reaches its finale when our time line meets its creator. With this hope we forget what is behind and press on toward the goal. No matter how dark the pit or deep the whole, set your eyes on the one who has already been to the end and is beckoning you heavenward, calling your name. Throw off everything that hinders and run as far and as fast as you can into the glorious hope of Jesus Christ our savior. All of a sudden, the future makes the past look like mom’s two week old spaghetti and who wants any of that?
Once again, I don’t know how theologically sound my ideas are, but the idea of Jesus being the one to push “play” and the one rolling the credits fills me with more joy and hope than words can describe. I am secure in his sovereignty and no event or moment takes him surprise. He is working his glorious plan for his creation and he would never lead me somewhere and leave me. Amen.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.