Daily Reflection 10th July

A word in our ear

Today’s reflection from Henny Hare was triggered by a memory of her father meeting an extraordinary man, who was a very controversial figure at different times in his life. The brief video below tells his story, along with the legacy of his famous poem to which Henny refers.

Click on the play button below to hear the story of Pastor Martin Niemöller:

Pastor NiemollerWorld Jewish Congress

Wir i chi, bobl Seion – chi sy’n byw yn Jerwsalem – fyddwch chi ddim yn wylo wedyn. Bydd e’n garedig atoch chi pan fyddwch chi’n galw. Bydd e’n ateb yr eiliad mae’n eich clywed chi. Er bod y Meistr wedi rhoi helynt i chi’n fwyd, a dioddefaint yn ddŵr, fydd y Duw sy’n eich tywys ddim yn cuddio mwyach, byddwch yn ei weld yn eich arwain. Wrth wyro i’r dde neu droi i’r chwith, byddwch yn clywed llais y tu ôl i chi’n dweud: “Dyma’r ffordd; ewch y ffordd yma!” 
Eseia 30: 19-21
~
Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’
Isaiah 30: 19-21

Henny Hare writes:
~
In the 60s my Father served a panad (a ‘cuppa’!) to Pastor Niemöller who was visiting Yorkshire from Germany. When he had got over apologising for the damage he had inflicted on Scarborough as a U-boat Commander in the First World War, my Dad asked him just how did he survive solitary confinement for 8 years without going mad?He said, “you must exercise your body and your mind”. He recounted that in that situation, you can run on the spot the equivalent of a mile and apply yourself mentally keeping track of time. But most importantly, he exercised his spirit by speaking out loud scriptures and singing. He said if you can maintain these disciplines for 100 days it will keep you: body, soul and spirit!We are now well past the 100 days of these daily reflections, when perhaps we have been giving more time to spiritual disciplines than we would have done before. And they have kept us going! Pastor Niemöller’s life had many twists and turns, and it seems fitting that his most famous writing came from his internal life: his conscience. Just like Isaiah’s description of the word in one’s ear.  

We are reading this poem again at a time when we need God’s wisdom more than ever. The stamina to continue hearing God’s voice. The compassion and courage required to attend to those most vulnerable in our community, and engage in the issues of justice and mercy. For God hears our cries and confusion: ‘when He hears it, He will answer’. Through all the twists and turns of these extraordinary times, may we keep on learning. May we keep on caring, and have the courage not to come out the same.
 

‘First they came for the Communists
And I didn’t speak out
Because I’m not a Communist
Then they came for the socialists
And I didn’t speak out 
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I didn’t speak out because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I didn’t speak out 
Because I’m not a Jew
And then they came for me
And there was no one left 
to speak out for me’

Bendith
Plethwch eich meddwl i ddysgeidiaeth Duw,
rhag ymboeni â’r man bethau sy’n blino’ch enaid.
Hyfforddwch eich calon a’ch gwefus i ganu clod
gan atgyfnerthu’r enaid.
Amen.
~

Blessing
Bend your minds to holy learning,
that you may escape the fretting moth of littleness of mind
that would wear out your souls.
Train your hearts and lips to song
which gives courage to the soul.
Amen.

adapted from devotions by David Cole cyf. Owain Llyr Evans

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