Welcome to the website of Bro Ardudwy Ministry Area.
16 hours ago
We have previously looked at Psalm 46 but Today we as recall the Catholic & Protestant Saints and Martyrs of the Reformation Era we do so again.
The Reformation began in 1517 Martin Luther protested about the Catholic Church.
Psalm 46 was his favourite Psalm During the dark and dangerous periods of the Reformation, Luther would turn to his trusted friend Philip Melanchthon and exclaim: “Let’s sing the 46th Psalm, and let the devil do his worst!” It inspired his great hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”
Luther’s followers became known as Protestants. Convinced they were living in the end-times, Catholics and Protestants alike strove to portray their own religious group as the elect which of course resulted in a split between the churches. The commemoration for today goes far beyond what happened in England, Ireland Scotland and Wales during the 15-1600s. But I want to concentrate on what happened here in Wales.
Henry VIII’s split with Rome set into motion a number of important changes in Wales. It was not until his death that the Reformation really touched what happened. Those worshipping in our church buildings (Llanfihangel, Llandanwg, Llanfair, Llanbedr, Llanddwywe and Llanaber) at the time would probably have noticed very little difference. However, after his death, his successors alternately continued, reversed and then reinstated religious reforms and changes began to be felt here in Wales. There is a myth that unlike places such as Yorkshire, where the new Protestant faith provoked rebellions, the Welsh welcomed the Protestant Reformation without any fuss.
In reality Protestantism was not speedily welcomed by everyone in Wales. Here there were more examples of Catholicism being practised than in many places, and importantly people were not prepared to stand by and suffer the destruction of their sacred statutes and images, some images, hidden away for years, survived both the destruction of the Reformation and the Civil War a century later. Some have been discovered but there are probably others which are still to be found buried in some dark corner of a field, or under coats of later limewash on the walls. For a hundred years after the Reformation manuscript books containing Welsh poetry and prose of the most distinctly "Popish" character continued to be cherished in mansions and farmhouses, they passed from hand to hand until they were worn out. Many still survive, tattered and soiled, but eloquent witnesses of the Catholicism which died so hard in Wales.
Yes many in Wales came to accept the new church over a long time; but equally, others never did, or wished to reform it and so we saw the rise of Methodism and the non-conformist chapels. This year we were due to celebrate 120 of disestablishment from the Church of England and take our place alongside those as the Church in Wales.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.
“Be still’ means to stop striving, stop fighting, relax.
The Christian Standard Bible uses this explanation in how it words v10 “Stop your fighting, and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
“Know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” … See MoreSee Less
2 days ago
Psalm 34. 11-18 The first 4 verses of this Psalm were written in the front of my great grandfather’s Bible. He was a Lay Reader in the Methodist church for 50 years and during that time hundreds if not thousands of children were taught by him.
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the broken hearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Today we commemorate Richard Hooker, Priest and Teacher of the faith, he was an English priest who lived in the reign of Elizabeth I he died in 1600.
He is remembered as a theologian who defended the Church of England and its choice of “the middle way” between Roman Catholic and Puritan ideologies.
The Church remembers him primarily for the one great work which was addressed to a group of English protestants who were nicknamed Puritans because they sought to purify the Church of England according to their own narrow reading of the Bible.
Hooker argued for a more liberal outlook, which harmonised the testimony of Scripture, the course of Christian history, and the values of human reason, in
order to defend the English Church as a spiritual union for all the people.
Scripture: is the word of God contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible
Tradition: We are not Christians in isolation but are part of a living faith that spans 2000 years. The heart of our tradition is expressed through the Bible, the Creeds (statements of faith, written in the first centuries of the Church’s existence), the Sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism and the ordained ministry passed on by Christ to his Church.
Our tradition is expressed with many voices, as we seek to value the life and story each person brings to the community of faith. As in a multi-textured tapestry, each person’s offering is woven into the life of the whole, making it stronger and more beautiful.
A personal relationship with God allows us to realize and celebrate our lives to the fullest. The gift of reason, as a complement to Scripture and tradition, leads us to seek answers to our own questions and to grow spiritually. Being active in a community of faith strengthens us to carry our faith into the world.
Weaving Scripture, tradition and reason together, we strengthen our faith and grow as children of God. … See MoreSee Less
3 days ago
Psalm 144: Of David.
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
3 O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him?
4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.
5 Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
6 Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them!
7 Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
10 who gives victory to kings, who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword.
This royal psalm ascribed to David appears to be a compilation from other psalms
(8, 18, 33, 102 – 104; but mainly 18). This is not unusual, as a teaching tool it is good practise to use familiar material when introducing new thoughts by adapting what is already known in a different use.
In general, the psalm may be described as the prayer of a king for victory and blessing. The call to God (verses 1-4), expresses both David’s trust (v 1-2), and his human weakness (v 3-4). Having placed himself in a position of dependency, he is then prepared to offer his petition for divine retaliation against his enemies (v 5-8), his own promise of thanksgiving (v 9), his petition for victory (v 10).
In God David finds 6 benefits provided: They are
Loving-kindness; a fortress; a stronghold; a deliverer; a shield; and a refuge.
These show the character of God. God is goodness to the extreme. Notice that David uses the word “my” in connection with each of these traits. David is fully aware that the victory he has experienced, is through the Lord. He says, I trusted Him, and He came through for me. It is the Lord, through David, who subdued the enemy.
Hebrews 2:6 looks back at v3 and 7-9 expands on it .
It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
In God, through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ may we find Loving-kindness; a fortress; a stronghold; a deliverer; a shield; and a refuge.
If you would like to listen to the verses set for today go to youtu.be/wXJLFXaeADI … See MoreSee Less
4 days ago
Psalm 119. 89-96
89 Your word, LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless.
Dr. Wiersbe the American Bible teacher at the end of his introductory commentary on this section of Psalm 119 writes the following
“The psalmist made some wonderful affirmations, which if heeded, will anchor us to the eternal and enable us to be used of God during these turbulent times.”
He may well have written that almost 100 years ago, but it seems to me as relevant to us today as it was when written.
Today we commemorate Saints Simon & Jude. Both were ordinary men who were chosen by Jesus himself to teach others about God’s love and to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
Simon and Jude travelled together to teach others about Jesus. Because of their eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ miracles and his death and Resurrection, many people became believers and were baptized. Simon and Jude died for their faith on the same day in Beirut. Jude’s body was later returned to Rome where it was buried in a crypt under St. Peter’s Basilica.
Change and changelessness is the theme of this section. We are in the main content with the changeless nature of God, but that God requires us to change is something that most people do not want, for they love to stay in their “comfort zone.”
If we do not change we will not grow in the Lord. Paul writes these words to show us the need for change:
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2Corinthians 3:18
Change is something that God will bring into our lives in order to get us moving for the cause of Christ and which will bring glory to the Lord.
Change and decay in all around I see O Thou who changest not abide with me. … See MoreSee Less
5 days ago
Psalm 128 A Song of Ascents.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!
2 You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!
6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!
This psalm was used by Michel-Richard Delalande in 1698 to compose a grand motet which was played in the royal chapel of Versailles to celebrate the offices.
Salamone Rossi, the 17th-century Jewish-Italian composer who was the first known composer to write choral music for the Jewish liturgy, published three settings of the psalm (for 3, 5, and 6 voices) in his collection Shir Ha’shirim Lishlomo, published in 1622.
This Psalm is used by Jews before going to sleep, being part of the Shema which is contained in the morning and evening Jewish prayer services
It is another of the 15 songs sung by travellers on their way to Jerusalem, usually for one of the three yearly feasts (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles)
“It is of real significance that these songs of home and of true civic consciousness are found among those which are sung on the way that leads to worship. It is ever good to carry into the place of our communion with God the interests of home and city. It is only by doing so that we can influence these for their lasting good.” (G. Campbell Morgan)
This comment speaks to me of the role of Deacon and how they stand as bridges between church and community. There is also something important here for how we take the Gospel out into the community.
The blessing spoken of in v1 is available to all who will honour and respect God. All can receive this gift; it is not dependent on race, class, education, or even intelligence. What is required is to walk in His ways: It isn’t a matter of having certain feelings toward or about God, but rather is about how we live our life in obedience to God’s ways. Showing love, being caring and living our faith in our day to day living.
The psalmist had in mind the hard-working farmer who enjoys the food of his own work. How many of us have had this satisfaction this year from growing and eating our own garden produce? He sees the home is happy in its very heart, there is a sense of community and happiness. This verse speaks to me of the sense of community and happiness which we as the family of God should experience in our churches.
The Psalmist speaks of seeing grandchildren and hints at the pleasure that will be ours from seeing them grow as we meet the generation after the one that we have given birth to. Let us pray that as a church we too may see the family of the church prosper and meet our metaphorical grandchildren. … See MoreSee Less
6 days ago
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and on his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
The beautiful poetry of the Kings James version of this text still has power to speak to us today which I find that the paraphrased version of ‘the Message’ does not
How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
2-3 Instead you thrill to GOD’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.
4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked, who are mere windblown dust—Without defence in court, unfit company for innocent people.
6 GOD charts the road you take. The road they take is Skid Row.
This psalm is categorised as a “wisdom” psalm. The structure of which emphasises the theme of “Two Roads” Similar to the book of Proverbs, these psalms focus on the value of wisdom and living a wise, Godly life as opposed to an ungodly life.
Psalm 1 gives a clear distinction between the righteous and the wicked. Wisdom literature in the Bible divides humankind into these two absolute categories; another theme in this genre concerns the present fortunes and the ultimate destinies of human beings.
The first and last words of Psalm 1 give us these alternatives. Blessed is the righteous person who delights in God’s law; the ungodly, on the other hand, will perish.
Verse 1 illustrates (through 3 negatives) the importance of allowing categorically no compromise with evil so that evil never becomes a habit.
Verse 2 shows the positive side of godliness and the how it may be accomplished, followed in verse 3 with a description of what results when a righteous walk is practiced.
Verse 3 tells us the result of a godly life, note that we shall be something rather than do something as a result of delighting in and meditating on God’s Word.
The prophet Jeremiah talks about the godly with treelike roots in Jeremiah 17:5-8.
As you go meditate on the words of this Psalm ask yourself these questions:
• Do I meditate and think about what God wants from me?
• Does my life resemble the kind of tree described in Psalm 1?
• Should I put an end to some things that are spiritual, ethical, or moral compromises?
Offer them to God in prayer and ask for help to make any necessary changes. … See MoreSee Less