Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come,
the Almighty."
- Revelation 1:8
Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega, he the source, the ending he
of the things that are, that have been
and that future years shall see, evermore and evermore.
UMH No. 184
From the opening sounds of O Come, O Come Emmanuel to thunderous choruses of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, the Advent/Christmas Season focuses on the wonders of the baby Jesus and exclaims the miraculous birth. Year after year we sing these glorious carols.  Many times we get caught up in the melodies and harmonies.  We sing the familiar words, but do we catch the full meaning of the text?  Is there a deeper meaning in these works beyond the manger?   Can it help us mature in our faith, or is it easier to swaddle the baby Jesus and keep singing these age old melodies we have grown to love?  What does it mean for us as Christians when we look at Advent in the realm of the Resurrection, Pentecost and Christ’s Second Coming?  Could this idea be the real Advent? When you have some time, explore the Greek word, Parousia, as it relates to church theology.
I like the 4th Century carol, Of the Father’s Love Begotten.  The nine stanzas of Prudentius’s poem center on the story of redemption. The United Methodist Hymnal includes three of the stanzas.  I share a stanza of the text (above) with you. The Greek words, Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, remind us that “Christ existed for all eternity.  The phrase Alpha and Omega may signify that God is eternal.”  See how many places you can find these symbols in our sanctuary.
The carols and hymns of the church provide a wealth of material for us to deepen our faith in Christ.  As we progress through the Advent and Christmas seasons, I challenge you to “sing, sing, sing!”  As you enjoy the wonderful melodies, see how many of the carols take us from the manger to the cross and on to God’s plan for our salvation.
May we not only hear the angels sing but join in singing…Hark! the Herald Angels Sing…
                      Stanza 3
Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die,
Born to raise us from the earth; born to give us second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.” – Charles Wesley
UMH No. 240
Heavenly Father, as we prepare during the Advent Season, may we sing of your plan for our lives. May the Holy Spirit guide us not only to the manger but to the cross and beyond.  May we feel the redemptive power of your love and find a path for growth in faith. Through this journey, may we share the love you have so graciously given us.  In your name we pray. Amen.
- David Ratchford


Last Published: November 27, 2013 3:26 PM
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