Revelation 1:4-8 (NRSV)
Verse 4John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, Verse 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, Verse 6and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Verse 7Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. Verse 8"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
John is writing to the entire church, the number seven symbolizing that completeness. He is wishing the church God’s grace which is rooted in God’s steadfast love and connotes God’s generosity in the work of salvation. John also wishes for them a peace which is more than just the absence of violence. Rather it refers to that well-being which is the result of a deep relationship with God. That grace and peace are gifts from the Holy Spirit is noted by the reference to seven spirits in the greeting. The writer goes on the affirm that God has made us a kingdom of priests. Just as the Israelites viewed the LORD as having dominion over all the world, God told Moses that God’s children would be priests to model holy living for all the world to see. The Risen Jesus, as God’s Alpha and Omega for us, has given us eternal life to share with the world.
Lord, help us evangelize our personal worlds by living holy lives. Amen.