Prayer: Lord God, guide us through the seasons of our lives in our endings and in our beginnings. Amen
Reading: Revelation 1:4b-8 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: This coming Sunday is the last Sunday of the lectionary year. For a whole year the church has been hearing the gospel of Mark. Starting the first Sunday of Advent, we hear from the gospel of Luke. As we make this move from one gospel story to another, I am reminded of how endings in our lives can bring new beginnings. The summer has come to a close in fall and soon fall with be ending into winter. Even creation feels the ending of one season and transition into another as it prepares for hibernation and preparation for spring and growth again.
That was the thought that came to my mind as I read the greeting in the revelation reading for today. “To [Jesus] 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.” This is who Jesus is to us. He is the one who saved us from our sins and formed us into his kingdom with all other believers. And to go even further saying that “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” The Greek letters alpha and omega being the beginning and the end of the Greek alphabet, respectively, show us that God is there in our beginnings and our endings.
Yet this is not only about where God is but also about us. In our worldwide Christian community, our beginning and our ending and everything in between is about the God who is revealed in Jesus Christ. Who we are, what we do, what we think, how we act is all focused on Jesus and his love. --Peter Horn, Camp Mount Luther Board Member and Summer Week Chaplain
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