“’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’” (1:8). Now, how would that be? You’re standing face to face with God, who tells you, “I am the Alpha and the Omega . . .” I suspect John really is paying attention at this point. And the Lord says the same thing to the churches. Of course, that means us. That is, through his Word, the Alpha and Omega stands before us and speaks!
He is the first and the last (1:17), the living one who died and now is alive forever (1:18), who holds the keys of death and Hades (1:18). And he speaks to the seven churches, one by one. To Ephesus: they have endured and are against the false prophets, but they have lost their first love. To Smyrna: they have endured poverty and suffering, and now they must continue faithful and receive the crown of life. To Pergamum: they hold fast to the faith, yet they have allowed false teachers to creep in. To Thyatira: they have served faithfully and endured and grown in their faith, but they have tolerated Jezebel and her wickedness. To Sardis: a reputation of being alive, but in fact are dead. To Philadelphia: they have been faithful, and the Lord will keep open a door before them and will keep them. To Laodicea: neither hot or cold, but lukewarm.
To all his people, in every generation, God gives a word. He has spoken, and he continues to speak through the Scriptures. So much to learn, and it is our task to listen. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (3:22).
Rejoice, the Lord is King:
Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice! --Charles Wesley (1744)