A peaceful start to the week
Chris Roberts, our Organist and Choirmaster at St. Mary’s Conwy, gives us a lovely reflection at the start of another week. He brings together beautifully that combination of opposites that many of us are experiencing – being able to enjoy the beauty of nature, while the world is living in terror; the strong assertion of faith expressed in a hymn, resulting from the experience of suffering tragedy. Our Bible verse today looks to the future, just as the hymn-writer is able to do, with trust in a God that is able to bring the opposites together: a mighty God, yet one with maternal tenderness. Whatever this coming week holds for us all, we pray for the strength and comfort of God’s peace for one another, and all those who are working hard to alleviate the scourge of COVID-19 across the world.
Here, first, are greetings from two of our community – please do send yours in too by clicking here.
Let me add my greetings, and feel that this experience will bring us all closer together and deepen our fellowship. Oliver Galpin, Abergwyngregyn (St. Mary’s Conwy).
Thank you for all your Daily Reflections which are uplifting. It’s many years ago since David and Eryl left St. Philip’s in Litherland, but we all hold you both, Gwen and Anna in our hearts. God Bless you and your Ministry team. Linda Minshull, Merseyside.
Peace like a river
Dyma mae’r Arglwydd yn ei ddweud:“Dw i’n rhoi iddi heddwch perffaith fel afon, a bydd cyfoeth y cenhedloedd fel ffrwd yn gorlifo iddi. Byddwch yn cael sugno’i bronnau a’ch cario fel babi, ac yn chwarae ar ei gliniau fel plentyn bach.”
Eseia 66: 12
For thus says the Lord:
I will extend prosperity to her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm,
and dandled on her knees.
Isaiah 66: 12
Chris Roberts writes:
Over the last few weeks one thing that has been a balm and a blessing to us all, I’m sure, has been the wonderful weather. For my daily ration of exercise, I have taken the opportunity to tramp through the wonderful countryside, which we have around us here in Bro Celynnin – Benarth, Llechwedd, Sychnant, Conwy Mountain, the Morfa Beach and the path along the edge of the bird sanctuary. As I’ve walked, I have sung to myself – and as you might expect from an organist, a lot of what I have sung has been hymns. It’s amazing how the words of hymns embed themselves in the mind, and can be retrieved to provide comfort and spiritual sustenance in times of uncertainty, such as these.
One that has had particular resonance for me over the past weeks has been the old Gospel hymn: ‘When peace like a river’, sometimes referred to as ‘It is well with my soul’:-
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control:
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for my soul.
O Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul;
it is well, it is well with my soul.
To listen to this hymn, click here:-
There is a moving story behind the words of this hymn, written by American Horatio Spafford following many personal tragedies. Spafford had already lost his first son to scarlet fever and most of his assets in the Great Fire of Chicago, when, in November, 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on the French ship Ville du Havre from their home in Chicago on vacation to France, planning to set out a few days later himself. Somewhere in the Atlantic, the Ville du Havre collided with a British ship coming the other way, and sank in just 12 minutes. Of his family, only Spafford’s wife survived. Spafford took the next boat over, and as he passed the spot where the ship went down, began to write, “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll,” and continued until he had the text, “It is well with my soul.”
In this hymn, Spafford has given all of us words of comfort and assurance in times of tribulation, paraphrasing those familiar words of Julian of Norwich: ‘And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.’
sydd uwchlaw pob deall,
a gadwo eich calonnau a’ch meddyliau
yng ngwybodaeth a chariad Duw,
a’i Fab Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd.
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.