I was once at a funeral where a mother was burying her grown son, a grief that is beyond the knowing of those who have not experienced it. What I remember of that funeral were the words of the pastor, who spoke of the mother's love, which had held her son from the cradle to the grave, encircling his life completely, in a way that is unknown to most of us. These words did not remove the mother's grief. They were not intended to, but they were gracious and true and helped her to write the story of her love in new words.
What else do we ask of God than to help us to write our stories? The Book of Revelation, so often maligned, offers us this same grace, a lens of God's overwhelming love through which to view our lives. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God. "I am with you at the beginning, and I am with you at the end, and my love writes the story of every moment in between."
God of love, you know us in our mother's womb. You know us in our final moments. Only you hold every moment of our lives. Grant us the knowledge of your love, and the certainty of your saving grace, so that we might live each day in the freedom you have won for us. Amen.
Revelation 1:4b-8 (NRSV)
4b 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,
5 and 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,
6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Look! 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.
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.