One of the recent themes for discussion in some of the church press and amongst Christians friends, has been ‘What do we think God might be saying to us through this crisis?’ Reverend David Parry has been drawn to the channels in the mudflats of Conwy’s low tide as a metaphor for these extraordinary times: a season of recognising, listening and valuing God at work in our lives.
‘Christian life is a listening life.
Christians are people who expect to be spoken to by God’
Rowan Williams, 2014
Eithr datguddiodd Duw hwy i ni trwy’r Ysbryd. Oblegid y mae’r Ysbryd yn plymio pob peth, hyd yn oed ddyfnderoedd Duw.
1 Corinthiaid 2: 10
These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
1 Corinthians 2: 10
Reverend David Parry writes:
Afon Conwy is a tidal river. Saltwater from the Irish Sea and freshwater from inland ebb and flow twice a day, at least as far as Tal-y-Cafn, 10 miles upstream. That’s why the riverbed and water are full of nutrients, teeming with life and vital to migrating birds.
This picture of the Conwy was taken at low tide. Notice how deep channels run through the mudflats, their intricate patterns exposed. An inexperienced (and chartless) sailor will be unable to guess their course once the water has flowed back. It fascinates me as a metaphor for this season in our lives. Suddenly, and essentially without warning, everything has changed. Our trivial and important freedoms, sense of wellbeing and actual safety all radically disrupted. Our shared life, routines and social connections are, it turns out, far more fragile than any of us imagined. Even our parish churches are closed, for the first time in their history.
What has been revealed now ‘the tide is out’? What are we discovering about the hidden channels under our lives and culture? What turns out to really matter? You may like to come up with your own list. I notice the importance of friends, neighbours, simpler routines, walking and the local. The rich diversity of these Daily Reflections also remind me that there are far more voices and stories than we usually hear. Spiritual hunger, curiosity and personal discipleship all seem to be having a new lease of life. Most excitingly, many new people are exploring faith in Jesus Christ. So Bro Celynnin is flourishing at the very time we are most restricted. It turns out that Church has hidden depths! These renewing things, as our Bible verse says, are being revealed to us by His Spirit.
y datguddiodd dy Fab mewn arwyddion a gwyrthiau
ryfeddod dy bresenoldeb achubol,
adnewydda dy bobl â’th ras nefol,
ac yn ein holl wendid,
cynnal ni â’th allu nerthol;
trwy Iesu Grist dy Fab ein Harglwydd,
sy’n fyw ac yn teyrnasu gyda thi,
yn undod yr Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr ac am byth. Amen
Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Church in Wales
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