"All Saints Cyncoed" Tagged Media
In David’s time, and the centuries following, it was through the lens of these mystical, often miraculous stories, and through the landscape itself, that people made sense of their spirituality. In our time, though, things seem much more complicated. The boundaries of our rational worldview are much more tightly framed. Heaven can seem a very distant place, and any spiritual experiences are easy to doubt, explaining them away through psychological reasoning. So what does the life of our patron, Dewi Sant, have to say to us today, living in a very different world?
In our gospel reading this morning, we contemplate one of the most extraordinary events recorded in the gospels, aside from the resurrection itself. In this mountaintop experience, Jesus is transfigured, his appearance completely transformed, as the disciples Peter, James and John look on astounded. So as we reflect on today’s readings, what can we learn about God’s presence with us, through not just the highs, but also the lows of life?
On this Creation Sunday, our readings invite us to trust in the Creator, who provides for all his creatures, but also challenge us to reflect honestly on the broken state of our world, in which there is so much to make us anxious. So as we reflect on God’s character as our creator, and the nature of his creation, I wonder how we can live more fully as God’s children?
In our readings this morning, we continue the Epiphany theme of light dawning in darkness, as Jesus is shown to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah, and calls his first disciples. I wonder how Christ’s invitation for us to follow him today can help us to deal with the darkness in our own lives, and in the world around us?
At his baptism in the Jordan river, Christ immerses himself in our broken humanity, healing the great divide and uniting what is human with what is divine. This is the spiritual reality of baptism: You are now indelibly marked with the divine, and united with God in Christ.
In today’s gospel reading, with Christmas just around the corner, we get our first glimpse of Mary and Joseph, and their obedience to God’s unfolding plan for the salvation of the world. How can we, like them, hear and understand God’s call on us in our lives? And what does it mean to respond in obedience?
In today’s readings for Advent Sunday, we are introduced to the great Advent imagery of the Old and New Testaments — contrasting themes of darkness and light, night and day, and in particular, sleeping and waking. The prophet Isaiah, the apostle Paul and Jesus himself warn us ‘wake up’ and be prepared for Christ’s coming. So what does it mean for us today to live as ‘Advent Christians’, to be those who are awake in a slumbering world?
What does it mean to be persistent in prayer? Does God even answer our prayers? And, when we are in desperate straits, facing impossible circumstances, how can we draw on our faith to sustain us?
I often think about how we as a church can be there for people in need. How we can be more inclusive, more welcoming. And how we can be there for those who feel like outsiders. We can all have times when we feel like the outsider. I know there are times when I have made others feel like the outsider. The offer of healing is to be experienced today, but how can healing make space for the outsider?
If our sight is focused on our personal, physical wellbeing, then our spending, our bank balances, will follow. If, however we have caught a greater vision, a picture of God’s kingdom, then the way we use our resources will shift. We realise that we are not our own masters, but entrusted as managers — or stewards — of God’s resources.
‘All are welcome’ — words we sang a few moments ago. But words which are very often much easier to say or sing than they are to live and practice. So, as we reflect on this morning’s readings, how can we practice welcoming hospitality to others, especially those who are different from us? How can we truly ‘welcome all’?
‘How much is enough?’ — this is often our question when it comes to money, especially since we live increasingly in a world of consumerism, where we’re bombarded with messages telling us we need more. So what does a Christian attitude to wealth and money, grounded in Jesus’ teachings, look like in today’s world? Rather than focusing on the scarcity of resources, or what might happen tomorrow, how can we live our lives grounded and rooted in the generosity of God? Is it possible to live a different kind of life, set free from financial worries in order to live simply and love generously?