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Reflections for new beginnings

Editor’s Note: In a nod to our Presbyterian heritage, we are featuring a column from a PMMA® chaplain regularly in our newsletter. This month’s featured column comes from Mary Bridges, chaplain at Salina Presbyterian Manor.

There is nothing permanent except change. — Heraclitus

When I ponder the meaning of life, I always conclude that life is another word for change.

As my mother grew older, we often debated about change. She would tell me it was hard. I would respond with my belief that when we initiate a change it is much easier to accept than when we have to change due to circumstances beyond our control.

What’s real is that change is constant. With every ending, there is a beginning. God is with us not only in our beginnings and in our endings but in every moment in-between. The church recognizes this by calling God and Jesus the Alpha and the Omega.

If we were to draw a straight line with the Alpha at one end and the Omega at the other, we could use it to represent the events of our lives. If we take this timeline and form it into a circle, rather than being at opposite ends, the Alpha and Omega are side by side. The end is now the beginning, and the beginning is now the end. It becomes the circle of life.

In a circle, there is no beginning or ending. These overlapping symbols of the Alpha and the Omega can be seen as a sign of God's presence among us. Beginnings and endings are always happening. As one moment ends and another begins, we can know that God is there. God is at both in the beginning and the ending of our personal “circles of life,” and that is what really matters.

Each new year is like starting a new chapter in our lives. My prayer for each of us is simple: “May the words of Advent follow us into 2022, as we live as a people who are guided by hope, peace, joy and love in this year and forever more.” AMEN.

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