Daily Reflection 8th April

Living with contrasts

In these extraordinary times, many have been struck by its contrasts – not least as nature is blossoming all around and the sun is out, all while we are experiencing greater confinement. There is so much that distresses us, yet it would seem that communities are coming together and there is much to be thankful for. Today’s reflection by our Ministry Area Council secretary, Jane Bowen, takes up this idea of contrasts as she reflects on Holy Week.

Jane Bowen

My many times great grandmother is buried in this tomb at Marblehead, Mass, USA. It gives many of us pleasure in tracing our ancestors and trying to compare their lives with our own and wondering how we could cope with the enormous differences time has made. How will our grandchildren’s children describe the time we’re living in today, I wonder?

Holy Week itself is, of course, full of poignant contrasts: from the adulation of Palm Sunday to the agony of Good Friday, then to the resurrection joy at Easter. The betrayal of Judas, the denials of Peter, the mocking of the crowds, are contrasted sharply with the devotion of his friends at his crucifixion. Suffering in this life is compensated for by the loving care of Christ for all those who have faith and trust in Him.

I recall Holy Weeks in my own past, when I used to live close to our local Parish Church. I often hosted visiting Ministers, mainly Anglican Franciscans, who presided over our services. One in particular, from overseas, would like to sit down in the evening, mull over the day and ask me how I thought the congregation had felt about his approach to the services, mostly a variation on Compline – the ‘Night Office’. In the midst of all this, his wife would phone and asked if he had changed his socks. He had – and I had washed them! It seemed incongruous, but on reflection mirrored the same mixture of spirituality and practicality that Jesus showed during his ministry.  

It was this same Minister who introduced us to the idea of leaving stones at the foot of the cross. Something practical that could signify the spiritual. It symbolised the letting go of all that is bad, and following Jesus with the words of Psalm 31 ‘Father into your hands, I entrust my spirit’. The ultimate contrast is that through his death, we’re brought to life.  Putting the stone at the foot of the cross is not so much about dying, as it is about living in greater fullness of life. So we continue through this most extraordinary of Holy Weeks, not in our own strength, but in His.

The Old Testament

3You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
    for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
    you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Psalm 31: 3-5 

Yr Hen Destament

3 Ti ydy’r graig ddiogel yna; ti ydy’r gaer.

Cadw dy enw da, dangos y ffordd i mi ac arwain fi.

4 Rhyddha fi o’r rhwyd sydd wedi ei gosod i’m dal i,

Ie, ti ydy fy lle diogel i.

5 Dw i’n rhoi fy mywyd yn dy ddwylo di.

Dw i’n gwybod y gwnei di fy rhyddhau i

achos ti, o Arglwydd, ydy’r Duw ffyddlon.

Salm 31: 3-5 


Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love;
where there is injury, your pardon, Lord;
and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

O Master, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to  be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope;
where there is darkness, only light;
and where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
in giving to all of us that we receive;
and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Prayer of Francis of Assisi, by Sebastian Temple


Iôr, gwna fi’n offeryn dy hedd,
lle casineb dof â’th gariad di,
a lle bo dagrau gad imddod â gwên,
cyfanu’r holl raniadau boed i mi.

O Arglwydd Dduw, nad im geisio dim
gan eraill, eithr rhoddi boed I mi,
na foed im hawlio dim i mi’n y byd,
ond rhoi i eraill fyddo ‘mraint o hyd.

Iôr, gwna fi’n offeryn dy hedd,
lle bo amheuaeth boed im ddangos ffydd,
A lle bo gofid dof â’th obaith di,
i d’wyllwch boed im ddod â golau ddydd.

Gweddi a briodolir i Francis o Assisi cyf. Siân Rhiannon

Click here for previous daily reflections from our Ministry Team.


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