“Here we are, you and I, and I hope a third, Christ, is in our midst.”

Aelred of Rievaulx, 12th Century

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John, to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace and peace to you from the one who is and was and is coming, and from the seven spirits that are before God’s throne, and from Jesus Christ—the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, who made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and always. Amen.

Revelation 1:4-6

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In this passage, the writer of Revelation shows us past, present, and future in one sentence. John sends greetings from “the one who is and was and is coming.” This greeting anchors our faith in the God who loves us, freed us, and has made a kingdom for us. Even when everything we have known and depended on is on the verge of disappearing. That's the situation pictured in the book of Revelation.

That should be blessed assurance in the face of a frightening prospect — the idea that the world you know is coming to an end, and soon. Kind of like going through a black hole in space and discovering something totally new and unimaginable on the other side.

Sometimes our life experiences can feel that way. Like life as we know it is coming to an end, and we can’t imagine what’s next.

And you have to let go of everything you know and trust that God, who is both the beginning and the end, will be there with you — which has always been the case.

Christine Vogel

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God of Past, Present, and Future, be with me. Help prepare me for whatever may happen in my life and in the lives of those around me. Keep me faithful to you and the plans you have for me. Amen.

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“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. […] Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, 1929

Christine Vogel

Rev. Christine B. Vogel, D. Min., a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has served as an associate pastor, a college chaplain, and the Dean of Students at McCormick Theological Seminary. Currently she works as a certified Spiritual Director at Claret Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Walking Toward Morning: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Ken Medema

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