Where are our roots?
We are living through an unsettling time, with some places really busy whilst many people are still shielding. Eryl Parry reflects this week on the helpful idea of ‘rootedness’.
Two members of our Bro Celynnin family have been walking in circles (around Llandudno’s Great Orme) to raise money for St. David’s Hospice. Please click on their name if you would like to sponsor them:
Andy Butler St. Mary’s Conwy
Sandy Hughes St. Benedict’s Gyffin
Dw i’n gweddïo hefyd y bydd y Meseia ei hun yn gwneud ei gartref yn eich calonnau chi wrth i chi ymddiried ynddo fe. Dw i am i’w gariad e fod wrth wraidd popeth dych chi’n ei wneud – dyna’r sylfaen i adeiladu arni!
Dw i am i chi, a phobl Dduw i gyd, ddeall mor aruthrol fawr ydy cariad y Meseia – mae’n lletach, yn hirach, yn uwch ac yn ddyfnach na dim byd arall!
Dw i am i chi brofi y cariad hwnnw sy’n llawer rhy fawr i’w brofi yn llawn, er mwyn i chi gael eich llenwi â’r cwbl sydd gan Dduw ar eich cyfer.’
I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.’
Reverend Eryl Parry writes:
If you have seen our most recent worship video you will know that this week I had the profound honour of being ordained as a priest in the medieval mountain church of Llangelynnin with its even more ancient (6th Century) holy well. Thank you so much for all your prayers and kind messages.
Llangelynnin has a transcendent holiness which speaks to anyone who arrives. Whatever is happening in the world outside, come rain or shine (on Monday we had both, plus some thunder and lightning!) it stands there peacefully, rooted in space and time. Entering after so many months of the door being shut was very emotional for those of us who usually worship there in the monthly Celtic Praise services. Yet Llangelynnin also possesses a remarkable ability. It seems to make people feel that they also belong there, even on their first visit or without any prior connection to Christian faith or to the Conwy valley.
‘Rootedness’ is a spiritual concept that is evident in the Bible. To me it makes sense of that deep yearning, which every human being has, to belong. We need to feel part of a community and valued by the people there. We long to feel ‘at home’ in that place, at that time, alongside others. I have become convinced that it is only when we belong, when we experience real security and love somewhere, that we can sustain a relationship with God and discover who we truly are.
I love that picture in Psalm 1 of Christians being like trees planted with deep, sustaining roots so that they ‘yield their fruit in its season and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.’ Faith weathers the storms, just as a tree does, only if it is firmly grounded. As this week’s passage from Ephesians explains, that ‘grounding’ is in love. Daily seeking of God gives us sustenance and help – the water of life. We can feel more secure in times of vulnerability if we have discovered the inner, stabilising strength of God’s love.
In response to a recent reflection about making time to pray, Mavis Tunstall emailed, “I start the day with Jesus Calling and I have found it a tremendous help sorting out early morning feelings of anxiety into renewed hope. I often feel that Jesus is really speaking to me, as He was in the one for today:
‘Come to Me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually it draws Me closer to you because weakness stirs My compassion, My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been. Do not compare yourself with others who seem to skip along their life paths with ease. Their journey has been different than yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility providing your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow me to bless you richly through it. ISAIAH 42:3 ISAIAH 54:10 ROMANS 8:26′”
So the roots required for flourishing are to be found in ever deepening knowledge of God’s blessing in our lives. That is the prayer that Paul prayed over his Ephesian readers, that such would be their rootedness in God’s love, that they would come to know the full extent of it. For it is in those times when we get a glimpse of the incredible nature of God’s provision and love for us, that we can really know joy and acceptance.
It is no wonder that people can feel welcomed into an ancient place of prayer where pilgrims have fallen to their knees in worship over the centuries. It is no wonder that Mavis can feel greater strength in times of fragility. It is no wonder that I felt indescribable joy on the day of my ordination – when we walked there in sunshine and back through a storm, having been blessed in a shelter-house of prayer. For those are the roots we share, wherever we come from and at whatever stage of life we’re in. I pray that together, through these times of transition, we may find ways of continuing to grow – for God wants us all to prosper in our life in Him.
Would you like to explore a bit more what it means to be ‘rooted’?
You are warmly invited to Zoom Coffee tomorrow morning at 10.30am,
for friendly and engaging conversation about this week’s theme
(and of course a great way to belong).
[or use Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456; Passcode: 430751]