“Commit to Renewal: What Comes Next?” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell
I am hoping that you are well and are continuing to live in the joy of Easter. Pastor Kaji is back in the pulpit this week and she is bringing us a message from one of my favorite books of the bible, Revelation. We hope that you will join us for an incredible worship service either in person or online and follow us on social media to make sure you don’t miss any of of our upcoming ministry gatherings.
Poetry for me has been a source of comfort and wisdom throughout my life. I love the way it points you in a direction that you didn’t know a word or image could. When I had the opportunity to take a class in seminary that was dedicated solely to exegeting Revelation I was both scared and intrigued. But when I started reading this book of scripture what was waiting for me inside were letters filled with poetic images and imaginative words that pointed me toward God in a new way. See what happens to your understanding of God when reading these two verses from Chapter 1.
7 Look! Christ is coming on the clouds
for every eye to see,
even those who pierced Jesus,
and all the peoples of the earth
will mourn over Christ.
So be it! Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says our God, “who
is, who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:7-8)
The first time I read this passage I imagined a human Christ figure riding in on a cloud like on a tray being served back to the people. But as I kept reading it, specifically the first part of verse 7 where we are told to look for Christ coming on the clouds, I started to think about that directive in the abstract. What comes with clouds? Water for life. The energy of lightening. A cover for the earth when the sun is too hot. A place for birds to play as they fly. When I am told to look for Christ in the clouds, I am reminded that Christ is in the big and small, the practical and the playful, the things that shield us and the things that enlighten us.
I think that is also what the latter part of this scripture is as well. The beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. The expectation and hopes of something new, something that might start out small but grow into something amazing. As well as the descending actions that help us come to a close so that we may start again. What is and was and is to come is a space of creation and renewal, of endings and beginnings, of a faithful present and a prayerful move forward.
Friends, Both the Alpha and the Omega point us to ask the same question; What comes next? So as we look for Christ to come on the cloud, and we think about our present life, may we remember that God declaring identity in the beginning and the end, remind us that there is always a what’s next in our lives. That God is at work in ways that may seem like abstract poetry but will one day be a reality.
A quick prayer for your week: God may I be open to what comes next. Amen