Reflecting on reflection
a’ch clustiau chwi am eu bod yn clywed.
Yn wir, rwy’n dweud wrthych fod llawer o broffwydi a rhai cyfiawn wedi dyheu am weld y pethau yr ydych chwi yn eu gweld, ac nis gwelsant,
a chlywed y pethau yr ydych chwi yn eu clywed, ac nis clywsant.”
and your ears, for they hear.
Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see, but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
Reverend David Parry writes:
More than 200 of us have been travelling together for the past four months, through the medium of these Daily Reflections. There have been difficult and better days for each of us in that turbulent period, but one of these little messages has always arrived at 8am.
I’m very grateful to everyone who contributes. If you are a regular reader you will know that the varied voices and perspectives have helped in surprising ways, enriching and inspiring all of us. But what makes them ‘Reflections’?
Well of course that name is a metaphor, a word picture. Just as a mirror or still water allows us to see our face, so the mental and spiritual activity of ‘reflection’ promotes new understanding.
In many professions and responsible roles (including Christian ministry) regular reflection is expected. To be the best teacher, doctor, funeral director, therapist, nurse, priest, etc. I need constantly to evaluate my own practice and motivation. Learning and improvement are never complete.
Taking time to view yourself and the world from a new perspective is actually incredibly helpful for any human being. These Daily Reflections function like a mirror for me. They show me something I wouldn’t otherwise see – like noticing a smudge on my nose! Even a familiar Bible passage, or an experience that we have in common, can look so different through the other person’s eyes and their own relationship with Jesus.
Undoubtedly part of the power has been their diversity. Each life, culture and voice offers something different and connects in different ways. But of course what really transforms our understanding is that God the Holy Spirit speaks through all of us, not just the voices we are most used to hearing. We hear and see God more fully when we do so as the whole Body of Christ.
So I offer two questions today. If we have seen ourselves afresh, do we have the courage to change ourselves as well (James 1: 22-25)?
Secondly, will we still make space each day for reflection and prayer, even when life becomes busier and less restricted?
Dduw cariadlon, diolchwn mai ti sydd Dduw,
sy’n addysgu’n ddyddiol mwy amdanat ti dy hun,
sydd o hyd â mwy i’w ddatguddio am dy gariad:
y byd o’n cwmpas a’r bobl rydym yn eu cyfarfod,
drwy weddi a myfyrdod,
drwy brofiadau bywyd
a thrwy ein pererindod ddyddiol gyda thi.
Loving Father, we thank you that you are
a God who daily teaches us more about yourself,
who has always more to reveal of your love:
through the Scriptures,
the world around us and the people we meet,
through prayer and reflection,
through the experiences of life
and through our daily walk with you.