28 Mar Adeiladu ty llawn cariad
“Adeiladu ty llawn cariad”
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelations 5v9-10
Recently I had the opportunity to stand outside an old dilapidated Chapel in a small Welsh village called Blaenllechau, in the Rhondda. The importance of this chapel to our family is that this is where our journey of faith can be traced back to. During the Welsh revival of 1904 my Great Grandfather received Christ and started our family on a direction that to this day we still continue.
My Great Grandfather was converted in the medium of the Welsh language. His family spoke Welsh as their first language, however over time primarily as a result of marriage with non-welsh speakers the language was lost to our family. I grew up in the Far East and had no affinity with the Welsh language. I endured two years trying to learn the language and failed miserably, it just seemed incomprehensible. I have grown in an age where the fight for the Welsh language has waged within our nation; however I have shown little sympathy for the cause seeing it as a waste of time and money.
Adeiladu ty llawn cariad
This position radically altered when at a recent conference on church planting in Wales I was asked a simply question “Do you have a heart for Welsh speaking people?” I forget how I answered it but for the next few weeks the question echoed in my heart and I realised how wrong my attitude had been and how closed my heart was to reaching this part of our community. The blood of Jesus was shed to ransom people from every tribe and language and people and nation and yet I had closed my heart to those who grew up in the Welsh language unless they embraced English. I have had to repent of my attitude and value a people group who I trace my faith from but over the generations I have become detached from.
One Sunday I asked the church how many of them spoke Welsh and only one person could confidently put their hand up and register themselves as being Welsh speaking. I have learnt that this is not because we are not attractive to Welsh speakers but because we don’t open our hearts to them. My heart has spoken louder than my words and if we are to build a house of love here in Bridgend we need to open our heart to all people.
The house of love we are building is one where we open our heart to every tribe and language and people and nation. I want our church to be a place where people will be loved and not judged, and for this to happen we have to let go of our prejudices and judgements. God has shown me an area where I have needed to change and I challenge you to allow Him to do the same to you. The destination remains the same to become a house of love where we take Jesus’ new commandment “that you love one another” seriously. However on the way to where we are going we will need to change to get there.
Enjoying the journey