Daily Reflection 1st August

Being watched

Heather Thompson from Gyffin finds good in an unsettling experience online


‘ARGLWYDD, yr wyt wedi fy chwilio a’m hadnabod.
Gwyddost ti pa bryd y byddaf yn eistedd ac yn codi;
yr wyt wedi deall fy meddwl o bell;
yr wyt wedi mesur fy ngherdded a’m gorffwys,
ac yr wyt yn gyfarwydd â’m holl ffyrdd.’
Salm 139: 1-3
‘O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.’
Psalm 139: 1-3
Heather Thompson writes:

During this Coronavirus lockdown, I have been fighting a daily battle with unread emails. I sign petitions for many good causes, but each one signed seems to encourage at least two more to my inbox. I was also receiving daily devotionals not just from Bro Celynnin but from the Church of England and America too. America likes to go big; they also send weekly and monthly items, plus Bible studies that take six weeks.

When I found myself skim-reading to keep up I let several go, and finally got the unread emails under control. I could also concentrate more on those I kept, and even look out for something new. Enjoying our Bro Celynnin Sunday services, I got tempted to look at other people’s services. There was a daily service from one of my friends in a Kent church.

It was on Facebook. I don’t use Facebook. I was put off years ago when someone I knew was very abusive on the infant social media, for anyone to read. However, I wanted to see my friend’s service, so I clicked on the link. I needn’t have bothered. It had been live-streamed, so there was nothing till the next day. I beat a hasty retreat from Facebook, vowing not to use it again. 
Next day however, when I turned on my phone, I found dozens of Facebook ‘Friend Requests’ from Conwy and Kent people – some I didn’t even recognise. I clicked on one of the unfamiliar faces. Facebook then told me where they lived and who their ‘Friends’ were. They seemed to know all about them and be willing to share that information with me! I found it invasive and unnerving.

Psalm 139 says that God knows even more about us than social media does, every intimate detail from before we were born. Should we be similarly threatened by that lack of privacy? No, I am not alarmed. Instead I feel comforted.

The difference is that the Lord loves us. He loved us, ‘warts and all’ in our sin, before we even knew Him. He still loves us now, through all the mistakes we make, and He will continue to love us beyond our dying day.
Paul’s short letter to Titus is worth reading. Paul says, “But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3: 4-7

That is Good News, something I’m happy to share with everyone: face to socially-distanced face, by email, or perhaps one day, even on Facebook!

Dduw hollbresennol,
helpa ni i’th ddarganfod yma,
drwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd.

Ever-present God,
help us to find you always,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Nick Fawcett cyf. Aled Davies

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