Daily Reflection 23rd May

Bonds of friendship

Thank you for being part of this online community, which shares experiences of lockdown and encourages a mutual sense of journeying through this extraordinary time with one another – and with Christ, our friend. That’s the theme of today’s reflection by Reverend Eryl Parry. But it’s good perhaps to pause and wonder how these daily reflections came about … 
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The Bro Celynnin Ministry Area needed a mailing list for ‘what’s on’ four years ago, especially for Llangelynnin – the hilltop church with monthly Celtic services that draws people from far and wide, for all of the big moments and our growing life together in Conwy and the valley. We realised that there were lots of people getting our messages that live locally, and plenty that don’t. So as the pandemic struck, having this already established gave us a great way to communicate daily when none of us could meet physically anyway!
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What has happened has been remarkable. Everything has grown. The number of readers, contributors and distributors in print, social media and so on. In such anxious times we thank God for His goodness and the means of being a growing, deepening, supportive and worshipping community. We are so much stronger together.

[Details of tomorrow’s Service and Zoom Coffee Morning are at the bottom]

Christ and His Friend‘Christ and His Friend’

Dw i ddim yn eich galw chi’n weision bellach. Dydy meistr ddim yn trafod ei fwriadau gyda’r gweision. Na, ffrindiau i mi ydych chi, achos dw i wedi rhannu gyda chi bopeth mae’r Tad wedi’i ddweud.

 Ioan 15: 15

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.

John 15: 15


Reverend Eryl Parry writes:

I love C. S. Lewis’s quote about friendship:

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'”

For me, that really brings out the connectedness we can feel, one to another, when we sense common ground and that another human being just might truly understand how we’re feeling. Of course, that’s just the start, and bit by bit, friendship grows by sharing something of our lives together. The pandemic crisis has shown us all how much good relationships matter. Not only are we dependent on one another globally and nationally, but locally too. And through the shared experiences, many people have said they have made friends of their neighbours in a way that goes beyond sharing the usual superficial greetings. Gone are the days when the answer to the question “How do?” would always be “fine”. In fact, it’s when we’re vulnerable, and in need of help, that friendship deepens. That’s when we feel able to take up the offer of “let me know if you need anything …” or “I’m always here for you if you want a chat.”

We have converted the smallest bedroom in the house into what the family calls my ‘batcave’ – where I work and pray. The icon above was a present from a friend last year, and it takes a prominent place. It reminds me of the utter centrality of Christ’s friendship to my own faith in God, especially in my most vulnerable times and how I can be a friend to others. It’s a copy of an 8th century icon which hangs in the Louvre, Paris, which depicts Christ and Abba (Abbot) Mena (285-309 A.D.) but which is widely known as ‘Christ and His Friend’.

Take a look at how Jesus has His arm around the Abbot’s shoulders. He’s not standing above him and waving His finger. He is gently, peacefully standing alongside. Jesus holds the Gospel in His hand, much bigger than the Abbot’s scroll. The Abbott, like us, only ever had part of the picture compared to the knowledge of God. Yet, we are connected because of God reaching out to us in the person of Jesus. See the Abbott’s feet. We see them and not Christ’s as we are the ones now treading the Earth, walking the walk of faith in one who despite being ascended into heaven, is very much with us through His Holy Spirit.

Not being physically with our friends is hard. Separation hurts. It has been very hard not being able to visit people, especially when they are unwell or a family before a funeral. We miss worshipping together as a community. But this icon, this picture of friendship shows me how we can overcome. We find ways, like these pages, phone calls, facebook, zoom get togethers and so on to remind ourselves that we’re not alone. In fact, friendships begin, grow and deepen. Just like the relationship we can have with Christ – the ultimate friend who knows us through and through.


Gweddi
Gwna ni’n raslon a chariadus yn ein perthynas â’n gilydd,
fel y gallwn ddangos ein bod yn rhai y mae Iesu yn eu galw yn gyfeillion iddo.
Amen.
~

Prayer
Make us gracious and loving in our relationships,
that we may show ourselves to be those whom Jesus calls his friends.
Amen. 


Bro Celynnin Sunday Service

Sunday Service
The weekly Bro Celynnin service will arrive in your mailbox at 8am tomorrow morning.
Do join us then for our 
Zoom Coffee Morning
at 11.30am – we’d love to see you there!
click here to come in
Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418
Password: 027997


Click here for Daily Reflections

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