Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:4b – 6)

Before I start anywhere with anything concerning this passage, I want to let you know beloved reader that when it titled the Old Testament passage reflection I HAD NO IDEA THE EPISTLE PASSAGE WAS FROM REVELATION!

This is just an example of how things turn out when I am writing these blogs, commentaries, reflections, ponderings – whatever you want to call them. The Spirit just guides me!

Now to the passage today. The writer of Revelation, John, is telling his readers what was revealed to him. It is a letter filled with images and metaphors that have meanings which commentators have puzzled and parsed over. I have only been able to glean bits and pieces of it – like this passage. Clearly John is “seeing” Jesus the Christ through his own understanding; not that I am saying he is wrong. But John is writing out of his time and his context. I read just recently that the seven churches mention in Revelation faded away: the corporate body of followers drifted apart maybe or fled – just disappeared from history.

Christianity, soon after it was established, took on and then set aside or dropped some beliefs – every changing. Some things though never changed.

Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. “ (Verses 7 – 8)

In our day and age, beloved reader, what often wonder what to believe in and what is right to believe in. Understandings of humanity, the human condition, and what it means to be human change and morph. And that in turns effects our perception of what is right and good, what is wrong and sinful, and what our relationship with the Divine should look like. I have talked about “authentic Christianity” which I define as tenets that Jesus Christ set down during his ministry and time on earth. But even that changes as some issues rise to importance and some issues fade away – much like the seven churches in the book of Revelation.

But we have to hold on to something; something must remain constant. Or all of Christian faith will erode and disappear. Oh beloved reader! Each time there is turmoil, and then resolution I hope that we as a corporate believing body will stabilize and move forward stronger and more committed to the Divine. But it does not work that way. We look back to scripture, and seek guidance and instruction (not, I want to add, from the Holy Presence but from our own understandings). Then announce and pronounce of beliefs and theological certainties – only to plunge into turmoil again.

I believe it is only when we call on the Holy Presence of the Divine that we can glean from scripture the tenets that we can and should base our faith on. That is why, I think, it is good when Advent comes along. We can go back to square one, the birth of Jesus Christ and the blessing that the Divine sends to use through the Messiah. Then building on that, we can reorient our lives and our faith, hoping that this time we will avoid the turmoil and walk in the light of Jesus Christ! Shalom & Selah!