Reverend David Parry brings us Saturday’s reflection – a day of activity for some great local community volunteers.
One of the wonderful aspects of these daily reflections is the range of voices we hear! If you have a reflection you’d like to share on these pages, please do get in touch via this link – we’d be very happy to send you a simple set of guidelines as to what we need to publish.
Sunday’s Service will be published at 8am
Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418
St. Agnes Graveyard in Conwy
Bydd yr anialwch a’r tir sych yn llawen,
bydd y diffeithwch yn dathlu ac yn blodeuo –
yn blodeuo’n sydyn fel saffrwn.
Bydd yn dathlu’n llawen ac yn gweiddi;
bydd ysblander Libanus yn cael ei roi iddi,
a harddwch Carmel a Saron.
Byddan nhw’n gweld ysblander yr Arglwydd,
a harddwch ein Duw ni.
Cryfhewch y dwylo llesg;
a gwnewch y gliniau gwan yn gadarn.
Dwedwch wrth y rhai ofnus,
“Byddwch yn ddewr, peidiwch bod ag ofn.
Edrychwch ar eich Duw –
mae e’n dod i ddial ar eich gelynion!
Y tâl dwyfol!
Ydy, mae e’i hun yn dod i’ch achub chi!”
Eseia 35: 1-4 Beibl.net © Cymdeithas y Beibl
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendour of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”
Around the time that most of us are reading this reflection, a diverse group of people will have gathered (suitably distanced by household and wearing PPE) to work, just outside the ancient walls of Conwy town. They are the Friends of St. Agnes. After months of lockdown, there will be no shortage of undergrowth for them to clear in this sprawling historic site, which once had a tin church, and is still a Church in Wales Graveyard.
Five years ago much of the oldest part of St. Agnes looked more like woodland than a cemetery. The memorials were lost among brambles and saplings. Anna Bitowski was upset that she couldn’t get to the grave of her relative who had fought in World War 1, but channelled that disappointment into practical action. The Friends she founded is now a successful community-parish partnership, and many more people now visit this beautiful hillside, full of Conwy history.
In my first Spring as vicar here, we managed to make real progress in clearing the Graveyard. What none of us were prepared for was what happened next. Where for so long there had only been a jungle of weeds, suddenly everywhere was carpeted in bluebells, cowslips and many other wild flowers. It was stunning.
We had not planted these riches. They had lain dormant in the soil until our hard work meant that the light could reach them – and they could burst back to life. It is reminiscent of a phenomenon seen in arid landscapes. The first drop of rain, even after years of drought, turns the desert into a flowering paradise.
Isaiah will have been familiar with that miracle of abundant life, where there seemed to be none. God inspired him to see that in the same way his Salvation would make wilderness bloom.
In the sufferings, emptiness and waiting of 2020, in this desert year, what is hidden but waiting to flower. How are God’s secret purposes being worked out, and how are we being prepared for the abundant new life with which he wants to bless the whole world.
Clearly, like our good friends in St. Agnes today, a bit of hard work makes all the difference. Clearly, like Anna, we are not expected just to accept the world’s wrongs and do nothing. But the wonderful thing, the ‘blooming marvellous’ thing if you like, is that the hope God has in store is already there waiting to be revealed – and we will live to see it spring up into the light.
diolchwn am ein byd
gyda’i amrywiaeth cyfoethog a rhyfeddol,
am dy rodd o fywyd
yn cael ei adnewyddu’n gyson gan dy law gariadlon,
am bopeth a wnaethost i dyfu ac i ffynnu o’n cwmpas,.
Bendithiaist ni yn helaeth, helpa ni i ymateb.
we thank you for our world,
with its rich and wonderful variety,
for your gift of life
constantly being renewed by your loving hand,
for all that you have made to grow and flourish around us.
You have blessed us in so much, help us to respond.
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