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?