Dance With Alpha And Omega

When Kerri isn’t composing music or performing concerts, she is a music minister at a church. It is a great gift and irony of my new life that I am spending lots of time in a church. I have never identified myself as Christian – I do not believe that nature is corrupt, particularly my own nature – so the fundamental building block of the faith has never made much sense to me. However, Kerri is no ordinary music minister (imagine Sheryl Crow designing the music for church services). There is a raucous ukulele band boasting 50 players, a budding contemporary rock band heavy on the traditional drums; she is experimenting and innovating to help rejuvenate and rebuild a once waning congregation. Art and passion are now bubbling in the wellspring of this community.

During the services on Sunday I sit in the choir loft (side note: the pastor, Tom, is an excellent storyteller and I am at long last hearing the biblical tradition from someone who understands its oral beginnings) and lately I have been taken with the stained glass windows and banners. I am a lover of symbol and behind the altar is a huge window in three sections: the birth, the death, and the resurrection. This morning as I listened to Tom tell the story of the prophet Elijah, I studied the window. I admired the altar cloth that sported and Alpha and Omega symbol. Because I was listening to a story and taken by the Alpha and Omega as one symbol, one action, I had a no-duh moment. Every story is a birth-death-resurrection cycle. Every life is a birth-death-resurrection cycle – and isn’t that the point! When we know enough to read the stories/symbols as metaphors instead of taking them literally, they open like a lotus!

Stories begin when the main character is knocked off balance. Stories begin with disruption, when the old world no longer works, and we must leave behind all that we know and step into the unknown. That is both a death and a birth. It is the Alpha and Omega together as one action. And, isn’t that really the way life works? In living we are dying, in dying we are transforming and generating new life. I have heard it said that presence only becomes possible with the recognition of the impermanence of life. It is movement, as the cliché would have it, an ever-moving river.

In a hero journey, the Alpha Omega cycle ultimately leads to a return. At the beginning of many stories, the hero must go to the place from which no one ever returns and that is metaphoric. It doesn’t mean that no one returns. It means that the person that comes back to the village is not the same person that left. The adventure transforms the hero. This transformation is a resurrection. It is a return. It is a return that is universal to every life story. It is a resurrection open for everyone. Life is an Alpha Omega in every moment: it is a death, birth, death, and rebirth cycle. The return marks the beginning of the next leaving.

Before church this morning I was meditating on life as motion. Life never stops moving. Growth is movement. Learning is movement. It is when we try to stop the movement that we create pain for ourselves. In a physical body, the blockage of movement is the place where toxins accumulate and the same is true in a spiritual body or communal body. It is all movement. It is Alpha Omega in every moment.

For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, check out my new comic strip Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.

One Response

  1. The part of this that resonates for me is “it is when we try to stop the movement that we create pain for ourselves”.I have been living with a toxic block for a long time and recently found myself saying “I want to flow like a river”. Trite, I know, but it is a hard lesson to learn… again and again… that it is not others who must change, but me…

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