Teresia's Final Thought

Being a Swede in England during the winter months is very confusing. I keep waiting for winter to happen. The snow doesn’t fall, and people keep cutting their grass! In Sweden even the grass withers, so if it doesn’t snow everything is grey. An English winter feels more like a very long autumn to a Swede.

But there are changes in nature that tells me that the seasons have indeed turned. The little things that are so often overlooked. Frost covers red berries. Sunrays fall low and sharp in the woods - dramatically bright one moment, only to fall into deep twilight the next. And have you noticed that birds sing a different, brighter tune after Christmas?

The world is in a constant change, even in winter. Our very lives are in motion – experiencing change. God shows that he too is willing to change his circumstances. God is born in a manger, as the little boy Jesus. Then at Easter he goes from being a free man, and lets himself be arrested to save his friends. In life we grow, we experience, we travel both in time and space – and God became a human being so that we will know that he understands the changeable nature of human life.

To live is to change. We cannot stop time, and even if we could should we? Change can be painful. The pain we feel a heartbeat before the words, “Why can’t it just be as it was before?” Moments that make us look back to better times with longing.

Perhaps that is why the Church often becomes the place where nothing should change. A place where we can hold onto the beautiful idea of a golden age, when the world was as it should be, or at least better. For “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” Jesus is the Alpha, the beginning. If he chose to be born and to save us, was it not to bring us back, to him, to the beginning and the Garden of Eden?

What we forget is that Jesus is not just the Alpha, he is the Omega, and he is everything in-between. He is both beginning, end and the present. He saved us to give us a future. The faith to trust in an eternal home. The hope that the journey before us can get better. His whole life, from beginning to end, as Alpha and Omega, is a testimony to his saving love, the one true constant. Were we to compare our traditions – those we habitually call ethics and morals – to how Jesus acted and spoke, we realise many of our traditions are more human custom than divine principle. It would also be abundantly clear he came to transform our lives, very much an advocate for change.

Looking back at these past seven years that I have spent in Prestwood I can only be grateful for the changes that God prepared for my life. I love autumns, so an English winter was a pleasant change from the cold, dark, snowy winters I left behind in Sweden. But, above all, changing places made me part of the community at Holy Trinity, which has offered me love, friendship, warmth and a great many laughs.

We as a community have also experienced many positive changes. Children are now welcomed into the fellowship of Communion. We have celebrated our Sunday services at the infant school! We have renovated the church, which seems to have brightened up not just the building but our own community. We are a generous, inclusive church, both in word and action.

For me it is time for another change, one that is equally good and sad, as I start a new job. There is joy in new exciting experiences, but also sadness to leave a community that has become a family. The best changes are both sad and good, because they are founded in great love, and they give courage for the future.

A Christian life is one that should always be prepared for change. Every new morning, is a Christmas Day in our hearts, when Jesus is born anew within us. Every day is an Easter Day when Jesus brings us new hope, so that we dare to live with love and charity. Each new day is a meeting with the boy who is God. And in that meeting we’re reminded of the vulnerability of human life, but also of the power of love. Yes, we are vulnerable, but we are rooted in God’s love. Yes, we can feel small in the events of the world, but God has faith in our spirit.

I pray that your future will be blessed, full of meaning, full of peace, but above all full of heart.

Holy Trinity, Prestwood is an Inclusive Church. We are part of the Church of England.
We are in the Oxford diocese and the Wendover Deanery.

The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Holy Trinity, Prestwood is a registered charity, no. 1129233.

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