Thursday, May 21, 2015
In Revelation 1:8, Jesus says about Himself, "I am the Alpha and the Omega...who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." As the "Alpha," Jesus is claiming supremacy over the world since the beginning of time, and Lordship over all such creation. As the "Omega," Pastor Tim Keller says that Jesus is claiming supremacy over meaning and significance. Jesus is making the audacious claim that all true significance in the universe, all true meaning even in your life, starts and ends in Him. In my observation, grieving parents become angry at God, and angry at life in general, for a combination of several reasons. There is no doubt that, as demonstrated by Job, it is good and right for us to grieve, and grieve deeply, whenever we experience significant loss. ("In all this [suffering], Job did not sin." Job 1:22). It is certainly right and good to grieve the departure of a child from us. And yet, many of us grieve simply because we have centered our lives around things or circumstances, and not what ought to be our true "Omega Point," the ultimate source of our significance, who is Jesus. Pastor Keller notes that our "Omega Point," is the thing, relationship, or life circumstance that, if we lose, we would become so despondent that life would not be worth living. Jesus is making the startling claim that, ultimately, nothing outside of him will be a lasting "Omega Point." Many grieving parents are tied to the circumstance of being parents. That is, they believe they will find their ultimate meaning in life in being a parent. Or, perhaps more specifically, they disregard the control and plans of God in their lives and find significance in their lives because they are the parents of a certain number of children, send their kids to a particular school, and set aside a certain amount in their educational savings plan. But, as difficult as it is to hear, one of the innumerable blessings of suffering, even the death of a child, is to grasp whether the sources of significance in our lives are truly lasting. Parents grieve because, whether they (perhaps only subconsciously, recognize they are not "Alpha" of their own lives (that is, "in control"), and therefore cannot dictate the "Omega," the source of significance in our lives. I pray that all of us, especially myself, would lose any sense of significance in our lives apart from Jesus.