My devotional for the Sunday after Easter is based on Revelation 1:4-8 (one of Lectionary readings for this Sunday). Revelation is a much-misunderstood book, but that’s possibly the subject for a post sometime in the future.
The book opens with three introductions, of which Revelation 1:4-8 is the second (in the style of a Greek letter). You can read it below, but to see it in context of the whole chapter click here.
John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
‘Look, he is coming with the clouds,’
and ‘every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him’;
and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of him.’
So shall it 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.’
The seven churches represent all the churches (not a specific number) in the Roman province of Asia, in what is now western Turkey. The order of grace and peace (in his typical Christian greeting) suggests that peace follows from God’s grace. John gives three descriptions of Jesus, and then describes him as the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega.
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; they signify that God’s actions are all-encompassing. God is fully in control.