Christ – the End of All Things

I have written on this subject in other contexts, but wanted to bring it front and center: Jesus Christ is described in Scripture as the “Alpha” and “Omega,” the “Beginning and the End.” This is not simply a statement of who Christ is at the beginning of things, or who He is at the end of all things – but who He is always, everywhere and at all times.

To speak with Christ in prayer is to have conversation with Him who is both beginning and end. Thus our prayer not only has a timeless quality – it brings us into a personal relationship with both the beginning and the ending of Creation. In prayer, we are taken out of time as we know it, and enter into Him who is before time and after time.

Years ago, I had an old “Jesus freak” (as we were known at the time) buddy who told me that he used to pray for the Apostle Paul. Since the context in which I knew him was Protestant – indeed – virtually Anabaptist – I was taken aback by his confession. “Why do you pray for the Apostle Paul, I asked?”

“Because He asked me to in his epistles.”

Of course, this was one crazy Jesus freak who didn’t do much theology, but I was impressed by his obedience. St. Paul asked it, and he obliged. Indeed, he was entering into the “fellowship of the saints,” far beyond anything he knew. But he knew, that if Jesus was Lord of heaven and earth, then he could pray for St. Paul and let Jesus worry about the space-time continuum.

There are far too many Christians in the world who have figured out the space-time continuum and are living as though they took their orders from a physicist instead of the Lord of the Universe. Have been translated already into the Kingdom of God, my true life (hid with Christ in God) transcends even space and time as do my prayers and the rest of my Christian experience.

For many Christians, it’s not just that they’re “God is too small,” so is their universe and their conception of their place within it.

When a saint of the 4th century appears and has a conversation with a monk of the 21st century, what do you call that? It happens far more than people know.

There are things afoot in this world of ours that are already turning space and time upside down. This is only as it should be and what the followers of Christ should expect to be the norm. If Christ is Lord of heaven and earth – how do these things not happen?

I have had converts to my parish because the Holy Royal New-Martyrs of Russia appeared to them in the midst of a carwreck and saved them. When that person came to be part of my mission, my first thought was, “If the Royal New-Martyrs of Russia are going to make an appearance in East Tennessee in order to spare the life and save the soul of someone, then my mission is probably going to be ok.” I was right.

By the same token, everything will be alright. The Church in America (I think especially of the OCA) has produced a fine crop of saints in its little more than 200 years. Some of them were actually the Metropolitans or ruling Bishops. Despite any problems we now face, we have an overwhelming majority on the side of Christ (Christ and one saint are an overwhelming majority anywhere and anytime – at the least). Thus my heart is filled with confidence and hope. I know the One who is both the Beginning and the End. I know how all this started and I know how it will end. What more do you need to know?

11 Responses to “Christ – the End of All Things”

  1. neil Says:

    Inspiring, to put it rather lamely. Thank you Father.

  2. Priest Matthew Says:

    I think we can go even further in one of your final statements–Christ makes the majority, regardless if any of us choose to side with Him! A wonderful article, something that several of us at seminary thought a lot about. We can pray for anyone, because God exists outside of time–my prayers for anyone were known and heard by God during the life of that person! “Who is so great a God as our God…”

  3. Magdalena Says:

    Father, bless.

    “…if Jesus was Lord of heaven and earth, then he could pray for St. Paul and let Jesus worry about the space-time continuum.

    There are far too many Christians in the world who have figured out the space-time continuum and are living as though they took their orders from a physicist instead of the Lord of the Universe. Have been translated already into the Kingdom of God, my true life (hid with Christ in God) transcends even space and time as do my prayers and the rest of my Christian experience.”

    Thank you. I’ve felt this often, but to hear a priest say it is very, very good.

    Magdalena

  4. Josh Says:

    Father,
    thanks for this reminder. It’s something I needed to hear this week.

  5. Wonders for Oyarsa Says:

    “Because He asked me to in his epistles.”

    That made me smile.

  6. Rebecca Says:

    Father bless,
    This posting could not have been more “timely” for me. I have been caught up in the worries, cares and deadlines of this world, making sure that I pray at the right time (whatever that means). When our dear children were small and we would start our prayers, I would remind them that we were in God’s presence all of the time but that now we were reminding ourselves that we are in His Presence. It helped to stop some of the twitching. Your posting will help to stop my twitching. Thank you.
    In Christ

  7. Mrs. Mutton Says:

    “There are far too many Christians in the world who have figured out the space-time continuum and are living as though they took their orders from a physicist instead of the Lord of the Universe.”

    My priest is a physicist… 😉 (I’m serious. He has his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from CalTech. Says one day, he and a group of his Romanian friends from CalTech got on their bicycles and cycled out to a Romanian parish to “check it out,” and he’s never been the same since. Brilliant man. You should hear him discuss the Big Bang Theory from the point of view of both Einstein and Genesis…)

  8. Margaret Says:

    Thank you for this, Fr. Stephen. These words are especially encouraging to my heart — and my prayer life! — at this time as our family sees our oldest child through “the teenage years”!

  9. Visibilium Says:

    I sometimes go for a while without reading your blog, but when I come back, I wonder why I was ever away.

    I liked this post. I have had encounters with saints and signs. The more I ponder these experiences, with the help of your posts, the more I’m drawn to believe that the sole reason why God sent us the Church was to facilitate our stepping into eternity while living in our present lives. What you have called Orthodoxy’s maximalist stance is simply the kindness of the Church in surrounding us with the means which more easily permit us to encounter eternity.

    One ROCOR church that I occasionally visit is festooned with icons of all different sizes and saints. The rector is genuinely surprised when I come back; I guess not a lot of out-of-town folks do. My view is that being amongst that much holiness makes my step into eternity that much easier.

  10. Peter Says:

    “I have had encounters with saints and signs. The more I ponder these experiences, with the help of your posts, the more I’m drawn to believe that the sole reason why God sent us the Church was to facilitate our stepping into eternity while living in our present lives. What you have called Orthodoxy’s maximalist stance is simply the kindness of the Church in surrounding us with the means which more easily permit us to encounter eternity.”

    This is a lovely thought, Visi. Just lovely. Orthodoxy’s ‘maximalism’ is a simple kindness. How true!

    Thank you.

  11. Zoe Says:

    Wow! I’m amazed to know that the Holy Royal Family of Russia had appeared here in East TN and led a family to the Orthodox Church. The last Czar of Russia had always intrigued me when I read about him and his family, (their murders) back when I was in high school. I did not understand at that time his seeming indifference to the obvious signs of danger; that, unlike most monarch in power, he did not leave his own country to escape his and his family’s demise. Now that I became Orthodox and know a little bit about the teachings of the Orthodox Church, I think I’m beginning to understand why things happened the way it did in the last Royal Family of Russia. St. Nicholas, New Martyr of Russia, please forgive me for my wrong assumptions.

    I was thinking about the last Czar of Russia when I stumbled on this old post, Fr. Stephen, maybe you can recommend a new book written about him and his family. I like to read one, now that I’m Orthodox, perhaps I would see the Holy Royal family’s life in a much different light.

    Thank you and God bless.

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