Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
January 7, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Subject
Ending to the Beginning
Description

Ending to the Beginning
“…I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end…   Rev. 21:6
The Book of Revelation is associated with the end of
life and its aftermath. So to select a sermon anchor for the
first Sunday of the year 2018 may well cause ambivalence
regarding its application to the new calendar year that
commenced the past Monday.
In the Book of Revelation, John records that Jesus
said of himself, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and
the ending”. That assertion shows that Jesus is infinite
whereas humankind is finite. Jesus is immune to time
whereas the humanity is intricately woven into time.
Accordingly, the human group must think and live within
a time boundary. Accordingly, humanity functions with
a time established “box” known as the calendar.
P. 2
The sermon topic for today was selected to explore some
implications of time in human existence. It was entitled,
The End and the Beginning. The sermon will be undergirded
by the following dimensions, namely: response to the
calendar’s end of the year; response to the mortal end
of life; and your response these ends.
Since the textual anchor was lifted from the
Book of Revelation, the most symbolic Book of the Bible,
it is deemed appropriate to provide some background
information on this Book. Its author is Saint John, who
was exiled to the Island of Patmos. The book was written
between 95/96 AD. It is referred to as  “The Revelation of
of Saint John the Divine”. It “can only be properly
understood in the light of scores of symbols…”. The
book is an apocalypse, or view of events yet to come.
P. 3
His apocalypse was multi faceted; it include a new
heaven and a new earth, the great white throne judgment,
and the end of time. The date of this finality was not
revealed to him, but John was fully convinced that this
even would occur in accordance with God’s plan.  With
these sketchy observations of Revelation, attention will
now be focused on the earlier specified three concerns
of the sermon, the first of which is – response to the
calendar’s end of the year.  Twenty Seventeen came to an
end last Sunday night at 12:00 PM. This event encompassed
innumerable activities ranging from dropping
of the time ball at Times Square, popping of champagne
bottles, ball room dancing, special hats, exotic attires,
the singing of Robert Burn’s song “Auld Lang Syne”
immortalized by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians,

p. 4
blowing of the New Year party horns, hugging and
kissing, multiple toasts, and the protracted dancing until for
most of the predawn morning of the New Year. Thus, the
old year of 2017 was replaced by the 2018 New Year. It
should be noted, however, that the calendar transition
is accompanied by another celebration, less well
publicized; it is religious in nature and generally labeled
as “Watch Night” meeting. According to historians who
study the African American evolution from slavery to the
post slavery, this service started secretly in slavery and
continues, in diminishing frequency, in contemporary times.
The third festivity of the annual calendar transition is that
of parades and football games. Closely akin to the thrills
of the New Year is that of traditional customs and quasi
suspicions that include: to make “resolution” and plan to

p. 5
lead a better life, to feast on a meal of black eye peas with
pork, collard greens and corn bread – in anticipation of
adequate finance during the New Year, and having a male
to be the first visitor at the home – an act designed to
protect the home from unwanted guest. No attempt is
herein made to evaluate the effective of these actions;
instead, the emphasis will now be directed to the second
dimension of the sermon which is – the end of mortal life
and the beginning of immortal existence. It is the change
in which the individual will have no consciousness
nor physical mobility as in moral life. That reality is known
as death and it can be described as from the end ( life ) to
the beginning ( death ). This is a change that the calendar
carries no designated dates, events, for seasons. Hence,
humanity must turn to the Bible for teachings on the change

p. 6
from ending to beginning. The sermon, in this connection,
will submit a few biblical teachings on the change. The Holy
Bible is replete with references to the inevitability of death.
The references are found in both Testaments and they
include assertions about death, designation of persons who
died, statements on the certainty of death, names of
persons who died, the unknown time of death, and the
reward after death for having been faithful in moral life.
The Bible, among its many topics, can be studied as
a chronology of decedents – persons who lived and died;
symbolically, their life like 2017 had an ending and their
immortality, like 2018 was the new beginning. Beloved,
all of us along with the whole of humanity will ultimately
encounter the same reality. In support of this somber
event, attention will now be directed to a few scriptural
p. 7
citations. The list is by no means exhaustive; it is rather
a partial delineation. It includes: “ a time to be born and a
time to die” ( Eccl. 3:2 ); “Is not there an appointed time
to man upon the earth…” ( Job 7:1 ); “Man that is born of
woman is of few days and full of trouble…” ( Job 14:1 );
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow, I will
fear no evil…” ( Ps. 23:4 ); “…and the day of death than the
day of birth” ( Eccl. 7:1 ); “…man goeth to his long home, and
his mourners go about the street” ( Eccl. 12:7 ); “ watch
therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” ( Matt. 24:42 ); “if we have been planted – died – in his
likeness, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection”
( Ro. 6:5 ); “ And in those days shall men seek death, and
shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” ( Rev.
9:6 ); “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a
p. 8
life” ( Rev. 2:10 ). Beloved, let us take confident in the
power of Jesus to deliver on his promise. Remember, He
said of himself, “ I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning
and the end, the first and the last” ( Rev. 22:13). This
glorious assurance leads to the, third, phase of the
sermon which is – What is your response to the Ending and
Beginning phenomenon of life?  As noted in the sermon,
there are to crucial areas that the who of humanity face;
they are the calendar time frame, and the life sojourn.
The first is general knowledge and earthly experiences
for humankind. Each normal person knows and experiences
the passing of the Old Year and the entrance of the New
Year. The second area, however, is encumbered by a
common reality for everyone. That problem is the fact
that, while knowing about the beginning of life, on one

p. 9
has ever experienced the ending of life nor its
consequences.  Hence, there is an urgent need, first, for
information about and making plans for the end of physical
life and, secondly, being or becoming firmly committed to
Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is in response to the second
need – that of passing from life to death – that this final
phase of the sermon is directed. Unlike the physician or
attorney who used their training and professional
references, this pastor is using his training and professional
book – the Holy Bible – to present the prescription for the
ending of life and preparation for the immortal existence.
Heading the list of spiritual medication is the fact that there
is a time to be born and a time to die. This certainty leads
to a daily dose of prayer and thanksgiving, remember the
Bible teaches that man ought to always pray.  Another
p. 10
ingredient of the spiritual medication includes regular
exercise in helping the needy as described in Matthew
(25:31-46), remain confidence in the Lord to walk with
you through the valley of the shadow of death, and
before retiring at night think of, if not utter, the childhood
prayer – Now lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul
to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my
soul to take. Amen.

 

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