Daily Reflection 15th May

God is love

What a great title to be given by today’s reflection-writer, Ros Hughes, as she ends our week in the way we started – singing! Her reflection helps us to use the words of a famous hymn as today’s prayer.

We have indeed seen lots of indications of God’s love working through His people in this eighth week of lockdown: Christian Aid Week, and we thank many of our community who have donated generously to the Conwy Christian Aid Appeal.  

Click here to donate to our Christian Aid Appeal

… and just a few notices …

Milestone Birthdays
Congratulations will be in order for these two ladies in the coming week who celebrate their 90th birthdays: Margaret Wicklen (Llanbedr-y-Cennin) on Sunday 17th May and Daphne Jones (Conwy) on Saturday 23rd May.

Sunday Service
The Bro Celynnin service will arrive in your inbox at 8am on Sunday. Please do follow that by joining us for our Virtual Coffee Morning, using Zoom.

Zoom Coffee Morning

Sunday Morning CoffeeSee one another at 11.30am by clicking the link below: 

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Or, launch Zoom, select Join a Meeting and enter the
following Meeting ID, Your Name and Password:
Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418
Password: 027997
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We have found the error that was just in the link published last Sunday, so please use this! Thank you.

Hope of sunriseThe hope of sunrise photo by Marc Hughes

‘Worship the Lord in the splendour of holiness;
tremble before him all the earth.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures for ever!’

Verses 29,30 and 34 from David’s Song of Thanks in 1 Chronicles 16

‘Ymgrymwch I’r Arglwydd yn ysblander ei sancteiddrwydd.
Crynwch o’I flaen, yr holl ddaear.
Diolchwch I’r Aglwydd, oherwydd da yw,
ac y mae ei gariad hyd byth.’

Adnodou 29, 30 a 34 o Emyn o Fawl yn 1 Cronicl 16


Ros Hughes writes:

Since the ‘lockdown’ one of the really lovely times of the day has been time spent reading and reflecting on the online daily reflections, Scripture readings and prayers – so varied, valuable and thought provoking. So, thank you all who make this possible and all who are using these reflections for prayer. Many of us have found connection with fellow Christian believers during this time of lockdown. Social distancing has, therefore, created mixed feelings of sad and happy emotions – we are unable to meet for worship physically, but can share and express this in other ways.
 
Through the wonders of modern technology, we are able to be aware of joining together throughout our world as a ‘fellowship in Christ’ – this is such a blessing. On one of the online services we ‘attended’ last Sunday, was a ‘Podcast Service’ from our son’s Church in Cardiff and we sang a very beautiful and familiar hymn – ‘God is love, let heaven adore him’. This well known hymn (you can hear by clicking here) suddenly took on a whole new meaning within our present situation, so I felt the need to pen some simple thoughts and reflections on this.
~  
God is Love: let heaven adore him;
God is Love: let earth rejoice;
let creation sing before him,
and exalt him with one voice.
He who laid the earth’s foundation,
he who spread the heavens above,
he who breathes through all creation
he is Love, eternal Love.
 
As we reflect on the words of the first verse of this hymn, let us take a look around us now with our hearts and very being. We can only respond with deep and sincere wonder at creation and gratitude to our Creator God. Exploring this feeling further, we might lift our eyes to look out at a view, look at a flower in the garden, listen to birdsong, stroke a pet, or look at a picture of a loved one – we can feel that Love. 
~
God is Love: and he enfolds us,
all the world in one embrace;
with unfailing grasp he holds us
every child of every race.
And when human hearts are breaking
under sorrow’s iron rod,
then they find that self-same aching
deep within the heart of God.
 
Responding to the words in this second verse draws us to look to ourselves and our relationships with each other. We find ourselves encouraged by an awareness that our God of Creation and Love is holding us with an ‘unfailing grasp’; he has our whole world in his hands. The words ‘enfold’ and ’embrace’ used here indicate a gentle love and tender care. The phrase ‘every child’ appears to indicate our vulnerability and dependency on our God as a parent and how timely the words ‘every race’ this Christian Aid Week, which has as its slogan – Love never fails.
How appropriate also, during this awful coronavirus pandemic, are the words of the second half of this verse. We are all crying tears of grief with those so broken by this horrible illness and the distress and difficulties it has caused, but we truly know that God is standing alongside us in our pain – ‘that self-same aching deep within the heart of God’. 
~
God is Love: and though with blindness
sin afflicts the souls of all,
God’s eternal loving-kindness
holds and guides us when we fall.
Sin and death and hell shall never
o’er us final triumph gain;
God is Love, so Love for ever
o’er the universe must reign.
 
Looking at the first part of this verse suggests that we face our inadequacies and wrongdoing. Sometimes when attending a church service it can feel so routine to say the prayer of ’Confession’ and to pause and really reflect on the full implication of ‘sin afflicting the soul’ is difficult and challenging. But this is necessary to accept fully the hope offered in the second part of this verse. What simple words of hope ‘God’s eternal loving-kindness holds and guides us’ even when ‘we fall’. Bishop Desmond Tutu said ‘Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness’.
 
And so, incredibly, this hymn, from the beginning to the end, gives us a picture of a God of Love with a focus from heaven – to earth – to the depths of our hearts and souls – then back to the wonder of an Almighty God of the universe. Perhaps it is because the words of this hymn are so encompassing, that they have been so widely used to help us praise our truly powerful God of Love and they can reassure us with hope in our present time.
 
A Welsh translation of the hymn, that can be sung to the tune LUX EIO:
~
Duw sydd gariad, caned daear,
Duw sydd gariad, moled nef,
boed i’r holl greadigaeth eilio
can o fawl i’w enw ef;
hwn osododd seiliau’r ddaear
ac a daenodd dir a mor,
anadl pob creadur ydyw,
gariad bythol, Duw ein Ior.
~
Duw sydd gariad, a chofleidia
wledydd byd yn dirion Dad;
cynnal wna rhwng breichiau diogel
blant pob hil a llwyth a gwlad:
a phan dyr calonnau dynion
o dan feichiau blinder byw
dont o hyd i’r unfath boenau
yn nyfnderoedd calon Duw.
~~

Duw sydd gariad, er bod dynion
a’u calonnau’n gwbwl ddall;
gwared Duw drwy dragwyddoldeb
blant y ffydd rhag pyrth y fall:
arnom ni chaiff angau’r trechaf
na chrafangau pechod fyth:
cariad ydyw Duw , a’i gariad
fo’n teyrnasu yn ddi-lyth. 

Caneuon Ffydd by Hywel Griffiths

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