Sunday Reflection

Reflection for the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity.

”The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” From Luke 17:5-11, NRSV.

CHARLES III • D • G • REX • F • D • Latin inscription – meaning King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith – on the coins to be issued throughout his reign.

In today’s Gospel, the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith and this comes during a time when everything he says and does is being scrutinised. The stories he tells are puzzling, so  provocation results and the disciples seem perplexed after a warning to be on guard. When they ask for their faith to increase, Jesus suggests that even faith the size of a small mustard seed is sufficient – what they need is faith, not in themselves, but in a great God. After the chaotic effects of the Government’s fiscal policies on the economy this week, when there were already fears for the cost of living during the winter ahead, this is a time when faith in the future is needed but many are as perplexed today as those disciples then.

The Anglican faith in which he is deeply rooted was referred to by the new King in his address to the nation following his accession: “In that faith and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect, the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.” As with every monarch since Pope Leo X conferred the title on Henry VIII, the coins throughout Charles’ reign will be imprinted with F.D. – the abbreviation for Fidei Defensor – which was given to Henry for his defence of Roman Catholicism before he broke with Rome in 1530. That began in an age of great turbulence and perhaps the lessons of history will provide food for thought in our own time of upheaval. 

Then, as now, Jesus encouraged his followers to use the faith in God that they already had, reminding them that even a small amount of faith can work wonders. Whether we have faith in God or not, faith in its many forms is much in the news this weekend with the Observer‘s newspaper headline declaring Voters abandon Tories as faith in economic competence dives. It is clear that more uncertainty and turbulence lie ahead and that faithfulness and patience will be needed whatever happens, whether with a religious or secular faith. That‘s challenging us all and perhaps many will echo the sentiments of Mother Teresa: “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” 

However, at the heart of the Christian faith is the One who has lived amongst humanity and experienced all that involves. Even Jesus knew agony of body, mind and spirit in the Garden of Gethsemane when, faced with the anguish of what lay ahead, his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44). It being night, this was not caused by heat but the cold sweat of fear and, in having a probable panic attack, Jesus has experienced what those who are now so fearful are also enduring. Later on, after the resurrection, what happened was seen differently as a new way of life and being emerged and so it may be for us if we find the faith to trust that it will. God is at work amidst all the consternation being provoked and faith in him will not fail, whatever the lessons of history and today show us about humanity – though there may be difficulties sourcing even mustard seeds as the challenges with the supply chain continue!

With my prayers; pob bendith,

Christine, Guardian. 

Sunday reflection

Reflection for the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

As the Guardian is currently away, today’s reflections are those given during Sunday’s service by Christopher Belk, a worship leader in the Mission Area. The talks he gave are based on the readings for the day, Jeremiah 32, 1-2, 6-15, Psalm 91 and Luke 16, 19-31. Thanks go to Christopher for agreeing to do this. 

Talk 1 This rather strange story may be hard to understand, but is very interesting and maybe topical. Here is Jeremiah, effectively in prison for having made unwelcome (though true) prophecies of doom, namely that Jerusalem and its environs was about to be conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar and all the people carried off to Babylon. Probably Anathoth, which is about 3 miles outside Jerusalem, had already been ravaged by the invading force, and we see from later verses that siege ramps were already being set up against Jerusalem itself. Imagine yourself as a Ukrainian inhabitant of Mariupol, with the Russians advancing and most of the buildings flattened by shellfire. Out of the blue you are asked to pay good money for a conveyance of a ruin, with all the legal formalities.

In Jeremiah’s case, he knew not only that the land was effectively worthless (to be fair, the price he paid does not seem to have been very high), but that he would never get to enjoy it himself. Leviticus 25 tells us about the procedure for selling land to a kinsman if you were hard up. The kinsman was bound to buy it, but the value depended on how many years to go to the next Jubilee Year, which happened every 50 years. If the original owner had not bought it back before that, in that year the land had to be transferred back to him free. So whenever the next Jubilee was, it would have been before expiration of the 70 years of captivity in Babylon, a period prophesied by Jeremiah, correctly as usual.

The point is that Jeremiah’s prophecies were not quite all of doom. He also foresaw the return of the exiles which happened under Cyrus 70 years later, though obviously not soon enough for most of his listeners at the time.. He arranged for the purchase deeds to be stored in a safe place, where hopefully they still were when his cousin or his family returned and could claim their land. This he did to show his confidence in what God had told him. Jeremiah himself died during the exile period, but Jewish tradition says Baruch did survive that long, though by then he must have been over 90 and was rather heavy and not fit enough for the journey back. We can hopefully assume he was able to tell the family where the deeds were.

So today we seem to be faced with doom laden prophecies once again: Covid may break out afresh, climate change is going to make the world uninhabitable, Russia may wipe more and more countries off the map, the refugee problem will escalate, Government seems not to know how to solve our economic crisis, more and more people may have to choose between heat and food. There are plenty of Jeremiahs around to emphasise the problems, though not many to tell us any message of hope.

What we still have is Psalm 91, which many think was written by King David at the time when there was an epidemic resulting from his disobeying God in listing all the people. It has been much quoted during the recent/current pandemic, but is of universal application in times like these.

Talk 2 Here we have another story, not strange and indeed uncomfortably familiar. How often has it been used to support cries for redistribution of wealth on a fairer basis, not least in response to Mr. Kwarteng’s plans for the country’s economy. But I humbly suggest that this was not Jesus main theme. When he was asked what was the greatest commandment he replied that the most important was to love God with all ones heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving your neighbour as yourself was the second, though it follows from the first. This passage follows on from others dealing with the right attitude to property: Luke 15 has the story of the Prodigal Son: the father in that story was clearly wealthy but did not land in hell. Then in Luke 16 is the story of the crooked manager who got the sack, but used such money influence as he had for the benefit of others, admittedly with his own interests in mind. No suggestion there that his rich boss would land in hell either. Of course there was one rich young man who was told to sell all he had, give to the poor, and follow Jesus. Then there was Zacchaeus, who apparently only had to sell half of what he owned and could carry on his business but had to give up cheating. So what was the difference? 

It seems that riches are not as such incompatible with loving God, and indeed many of today’s mega rich devote large parts of their fortunes to charity. Our late Queen was at one time the richest person in the world, but knew where her priorities should be and valued everyone she met, however poor or humble. Jesus did say that, for a rich person, entering the kingdom of God is far from easy though not impossible. However rich or poor we may individually be, there is no doubt that the more material comfort we enjoy the less we are forced to rely on God, or think about the needs of our neighbours. It may be that the rich man who had Lazarus for a neighbour paid all his taxes and even gave to charity, and may have thought it perfectly OK to sit back and relax, until it was too late. So we need I think to dare to pray each day that God will show us to whom we are being called to be a neighbour, whether with time or money or just friendship, at long range through other charities or at close range with our friends and family and those we perhaps need to notice more than we do. Nobody suggests that the original Good Samaritan was either rich or poor: he just did what he could with what he had for who he met.

Sunday reflection

Reflection on the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III

“It is done! I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” Rev. 21:6

“The Queen was just so magnificent.” One of the crowd outside Buckingham Palace.

”What a woman!” Kim, USA.

What momentous times we are living through! In the same week that the Queen’s 15th Prime Minister flew up to kiss hands at Balmoral and begin her term of office, so Charles III has been proclaimed King after the sudden death of Queen Elizabeth II just two days after she had asked Liz Truss to form her Government. The Queen had appeared to be frail but was still smiling and at work so the sense of shock is, for many people, profound. However, it has been clear for some time that the Queen was not in the best of health, unsurprisingly at 96 after a lifetime of such dedicated service and hard work. Having come to the throne not long after the end of World War Two, both she and the peoples of the United Kingdom have lived through so many changes and, as President Biden said in his tribute to the Queen, “In a world of constant change she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride.”  

The Queen was a steadying presence but also a realist promoting change when necessary, such as shaking hands with Martin McGuinness after the assassination of Lord Mountbatten and in accepting that the Wales’s should divorce which would have been unthinkable for the Royal Family not so long ago. That change will continue as the new stamps and coins needed will have the head of the King facing the opposite way to the Queen’s to signify the change of direction that has taken place and the many stories and anecdotes that have been shared about her have indicated the great constancy, respect and love in which the Queen was held. The laughter and sorrow that has been evoked have mingled and many have been moved to tears, not least at St Paul’s Cathedral as a piper played the Lament Flowers of the Forest whilst walking slowly down the aisle. After so protracted and uncertain a time over Covid, the war In Ukraine and the energy and cost of living crisis, the Queen’s death may be releasing some long pent up emotions, not least for those who were not able to say goodbye or be with their loved ones during the pandemic as we now must say goodbye – God be with ye – to this greatly loved monarch. 

The Queen’s steadfastness, diplomacy and sense of humour have been much lauded and, whilst many were touched by the laughter many of the memories evoked, sometimes that was unintentional as when the Bishop of London referred in a live interview on Radio Four to the Queen being anointed under a golden canapé! She quickly corrected it to canopy, but that far-off Coronation will soon be followed by that of King Charles III and he has already facilitated further change with cameras being allowed in to the proclamation ceremony, seen for the first time on TV as was his mother’s Coronation. 

That change was also evident in King Charles’ first address to the nation when he spoke formally and personally as both a son mourning his mother and a new monarch honouring his predecessor. The complexity of what he said was highlighted when he used part of a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet where, at the end of the play, Hamlet has taken on the responsibilities of kingship, but is dying. His old friend Horatio holds him in his arms and pays tribute to him as Prince of Denmark when he says, “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet Prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.“ This phrase would have had various resonances as it is part of the musicSong for Athene which was sung at the funeral of Charles’ first wife Diana, Princess of Wales and, at a heartbreaking time when his grief for the Queen was clear to see, King Charles is also leaving his years of service as Tywysog Cymru, Prince of Wales, being the longest serving heir apparent. It’s a sign of the times in which we live that the complexity and subtlety of these veiled references were missed by many who linked this quote when they heard it with the comedy series Blackadder, when it was used in Series Two.

Amongst the other titles that King Charles III has now assumed is that of the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and it was said of the Queen by the historian Hugo Vickers that her lifelong motto was, “Do your best every day and say your prayers at night.” That’s not a bad philosophy for any of us to adopt as we face such change and uncertainty and as we each acknowledge the influence of Queen Elizabeth II in our own lives – the only monarch many of us will have known until now. As we now prepare to give thanks for her example, the New Elizabethan Age and the Queen’s legacy as we commend her to God at her funeral, so we pray for the reign of King Charles III as it is heralded with all the challenges facing him and us personally, nationally and internationally. As we do, let us do our best every day and say our prayers not just at night but throughout the day as we thank God for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and prepare for that of King Charles II as we proclaim God save the King!

Every Blessing/Pob Bendith


Sunday reflection

Reflection for the twelfth Sunday after Trinity and the energy crisis.

“What king, going out to wage war….will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one….with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then…. he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace.” Jesus, in Luke 14:25-33, NRSV.

‘Energy crisis is price to avoid world war says Zelensky’ – Sunday Times.

As the warfare between Russian and Ukraine continues, the weaponising of gas and energy supplies is adding to the turmoil already being faced with Russia accused of psychological warfare having turned off the Nord Stream supply. The sale of oil and gas to Europe adds £700million a day to Russia’s income and, with diminished gas supplies from Russia after EU countries imposed a price cap, fears have been sparked that this is just the start of what is to come as the battle lines are extended. 

In this context, what Jesus says in today’s Gospel is significant. As crowds continue to follow him, he suggests that his followers should hate their families and take up their cross if they want to be disciples of his. Given his command to love God, neighbour and self, this may seem shocking but Jesus is not denying the importance of family. He exaggerates to make the point that, for the sake of the Kingdom, there are times when all else needs to be sacrificed for it. Given the urgency of the need for gas and oil supplies as winter draws near, much will need to be sacrificed today in order to pay massively increased bills or find other ways of keeping warm or cooking food. For many, this will be sacrificial and risky as they consider what is really important to them and what they can afford.

Jesus uses the story of a tower being built with the need to estimate the cost of it beforehand in case it cannot be completed. He also speaks of a king going to war and first sitting down to consider the numbers of troops he has and whether or not they are sufficient to defeat the enemy before calling for a peace treaty. Inevitably, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky come to mind, not least because these two powerful leaders share the same first name – which means ruler of great power. If only they were both willing to use their great power to initiate plans for peace!

Jesus also tells his followers that they must be willing to give up their possessions and, willing or not, many people are having to consider changes of lifestyle and belongings as the worldwide challenges continue. It’s a costly business but Jesus does not ask anything of his disciples that he did not ask of himself during his ministry and in dying in so awful a way but also bringing about ‘the means of grace and the hope of glory’ (General Thanksgiving, Book of Common Prayer). In these dark times, with the police warning of increased crime and social unrest, grace giving light from within and light illuminating from above is needed more than ever. As Jesus urges his followers to make difficult choices, take up their cross and follow him it may be that, because of the challenges being faced today, the means of grace and the hope that accompanies it will be discovered afresh. As the old Puritan Hymn Polished Piety puts it:

‘My soul is like a rusty lock:

Lord, oil it with Thy grace

And rub it, rub it, rub it Lord

Until I see Thy face.’

With my prayers; pob bendith,

Christine, Guardian.

Sunday reflection

Reflection for the eleventh Sunday after Trinity and the cost of living crisis.

 “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Jesus in Luke 14: 1,7-14.

 “We need more than charity, we need social and financial justice, like taxing energy companies who have billions in profits. It feels like I haven’t been given the chance that my preceding generations had. When is it our time for my generation to have a chance?” Francisco Salvatierra, Cardiff teacher.

As one of the first women to be ordained in the Church of England, one of the biggest changes I’ve noticed over the last 32 years is what happens at wedding receptions. When I began, these were usually on the traditional basis of a top table for the bride and groom, best man, bridesmaids and parents with someone at both ends left with only one person next to them. As divorce, step parents, blended families and IVF have become more of a consideration, so circular tables have become common because they help to avoid the complex issue of who has precedence and who sits next to whom. Not that this always solves the social complexities at a meal – after a funeral I had taken, by the time I reached the wake only one seat was left in the room. I wasn’t sure whether it was free or someone had gone to the cloakroom so I asked, “May I sit here?” Back came the unenthusiastic reply: “If you must!”

In the time of Jesus, meals were much more regimented than today and the Gospel is set in the context of a feast on the Sabbath. Jesus has been invited to eat with a leader of the Pharisees and is being watched closely after his recent controversial healing of a disabled woman on the sabbath. However, although the seating plan is for the host to decide, Jesus notices the guests vying for position or finding the best places for themselves – and he immediately speaks out. He tells the parable of guests invited to a wedding, suggesting that they should not choose a place of honour but invite others to take it and may then be elevated by the host rather than demoted by him. Jesus warns that, “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (v.11) and he lived this out himself at times such as Maundy Thursday when he washed the disciples’ feet as a servant would do.

Jesus then directly addresses the host, telling him that when he gives a banquet he shouldn’t just invite people he knows who make him feel comfortable and who can return his invitation or enhance his social status. He should invite the poor, the disabled and the blind and the host will be blessed for doing so, says Jesus – he can’t gain from it because they can’t repay him socially. The blessing is not in this life but at the resurrection and the parable is about the heavenly banquet and the values of God’s kingdom, not of this world. 

This week, due to the financial complexities of the war in Ukraine, massive rises in energy costs have been announced with a typical annual bill rising by 80% in October from £1,971 to £3,549. Those on pre-paid meters, often the poorest, will find their bills rising even more to £3,608 and there are concerns that this huge cost will result in lives being put at risk, increased pressure on the NHS and hard choices having to be made by millions of people. Organisations, charities and food banks are offering advice and help but Chancellor Nadim Zahari has warned that even those on incomes of £45,000 may need support and that the UK is in “a national economic emergency that could go on for….two years.” This is reflected in many other countries too with the social and economic order that has made lives affordable or comfortable already being completely overturned, causing great anxiety for many before winter has even begun. Russia supplied 40% of the EU’s natural gas last year and the terrible irony of its energy provider Gazprom recently burning off huge volumes of gas is not lost on anyone. 

The words of Jesus may seem to offer little comfort in light of all this – who welcomes being humbled? – but the cost of living crisis is already overturning what many people have taken for granted. The long term rethinking it will involve may have hidden blessings too if people consider the welfare of others as well as themselves and choose to offer practical support such as the school uniform recycling schemes springing up. It may also enable some consideration of the eternal values of which Jesus speaks, just as the pandemic made people realise other working possibilities and ways of living. All are invited to the heavenly banquet but will the invitation be accepted and do we even hear the call? As George Herbert puts it in his poem ‘Love bade me welcome’:

“And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?

My deare, then I will serve

You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat;

So I did sit and eat.”

With my prayers; pob bendith,

Christine, Guardian. 

Sunday reflection

Reflection for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity and the railway dispute. 

‘Just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” ‘ 

From Luke 13:10-17, NRSV.

”What we can’t have is imposition of change and detrimental changes to our members‘ lives.” Mick Lynch, General Secretary, RMT.

“That would involve conversation rather than confrontation.” Dan Panes, Rail Delivery Group, of the current railway negotiations.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus has been teaching in the synagogue on the sabbath when a woman who has been unable to stand up straight for eighteen years appears. Jesus does not ask anything of her, other than to come to him, and when she does, he simply tells her that she is set free and lays hands on her. She immediately stands up straight and begins to praise God – there is no need even for her back gradually to adjust to its new position. The change is immediate and obvious to all present.

Although the crowd present rejoices at what has happened, the synagogue leader is indignant, criticising Jesus for healing on the sabbath, which was not permitted. Jesus, however, calls him a hypocrite and suggests that, if donkeys can be untied to be taken to water that day, so the woman should be set free. He gives her a name, though not her own name, by calling the woman a daughter of Abraham and indicating that she is included and not shunned because of her disability. The woman was probably given help by the synagogue and was able to be present but its leader still criticises Jesus for what he does. Nor is he acting unreasonably  according to the Torah, under which the sabbath was to be regarded as a day of rest from work after six days of labour. Neither does Jesus dismiss this, but says that, since the care of animals is justified, so the woman’s right to being set free from restriction is also justified on the sabbath. Those who disagree with him are shamed as the crowd rejoices and God’s kingdom breaks through the rules and restrictions that have been imposed. As both the woman and the crowd praise God, so God’s healing work is shown through Jesus, whether or not it is the sabbath, and comes to those most in need of it – in this case, a lowly, unnamed and disabled woman. 

The condition she is suffering from could be physical but Jesus indicates that she has been bound by a spirit and so her ailment may be spiritual. Just as the woman was unable to stand up straight then, so the weight of the past can sometimes be more than we can bear today as regret, anger, grief and other emotions can also prevent us from being upright. We can be frozen with fear or inactivity too – sometimes, the weight of what we bear can crush us for longer than the eighteen years the woman bore.

That can be seen in the rumbling and ongoing disagreement about the railways, which faced many continuing challenges after nationalisation in 1948 and the Beeching Axe and consequences in the sixties. Struggling after the pandemic, revenues are now 30% lower than they were and the difficulties of establishing a working agreement are clear as strikes continue and negotiations are convened without yet a breakthrough. Like the situation in the synagogue, the same events can be interpreted very differently as the comments of Mick Lynch and Dan Panes show. Meanwhile the public continues to be inconvenienced as the disagreement and conflict continues.

The situation on the railways is only one aspect of disagreement about change and sometimes confrontation is necessary or unavoidable. Many individuals and families are now having change imposed on them, from the rising cost of living to having to consider different possibilities through not achieving the necessary exam results after studying during the chaos of Covid. However, there is always the possibility that the change, though a confrontation initially, may eventually lead to conversation with hope prevailing. That was so for the disabled woman when Jesus spoke to her – what did she feel when singled out by Jesus so publicly and told to make her halting way to him in front of so many other people? As national and international events continue to confront us all, may conversation begin to straighten out the confrontation – when it does, we can all be sure we’re on the right track! 

With my prayers; pob bendith,

Christine, Guardian.

Sunday reflection

Reflection for the ninth Sunday after Trinity and the weather.

”You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” Jesus, in today’s Gospel Luke 12:48-56, NRSV.

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

The Brits are known for their frequent talk of the weather, which is reflected in the language used too. People talk of a storm in a tea cup, being on cloud nine, saving for a rainy day, feeling under the weather or being long winded. That’s partly because the weather in the UK is unpredictable as Britain is at an intersection of Arctic winds from the north, tropical winds from the south, wet winds from the west and continental winds from the east. This creates very varied weather conditions, in contrast to those Jesus is referring to in today’s Gospel.

In Galilee, clouds to the west would indicate rain whilst a southerly wind would bring sultry heat. With fishermen amongst the disciples, they would know this and yet Jesus implies that they are unable to read the signs of the times or see what is happening all around them. Jesus’ ministry is evolving in the context of the Roman occupation, the machinations of Herod Antipas, the resentment of the people, the quarrelling of the religious leaders and the hostility he is facing. He warns of disaster, of fire, division and judgement – his message is not political, but it has political consequences and the Prince of Peace now warns that even families will be divided in their response to him. Jesus calls the crowds following him hypocrites – why, he asks, can’t they see what’s happening?

Given that, today, exceptionally hot weather is causing extensive wild fires and drought, with social unrest being experienced due to the cost of living, strikes and political strife, what Jesus says is pertinent. Every generation has to read the wider signs of the times and respond to them – division and disagreement has always resulted, as well as change and progress. What matters is the response to it and how it is handled. Today, with climate change being contested, the cost of utilities rocketing, the potato and grain crops being affected by lack of rain and even some cheese suppliers warning they may be unable to fulfil their orders, there is a need not only to read the signs of the times but do something about them. In this context the words of Jesus, who called himself the Good Shepherd, need to be heeded. And so a familiar weather saying takes on a new resonance:
Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; red sky at morning, Shepherd’s Warning.

With my prayers; pob bendith,
Christine, Guardian.

Adlewyrchiad Ddydd Sul.

Adlewyrchiad am y nawfed Ddydd Sul ar ol y Drindod, a’r tywydd.

Yr Iesu yn Luwc 12:48-56

“54 Ac efe a ddywedodd hefyd wrth y bobloedd, Pan weloch gwmwl yn codi o’r gorllewin, yn y fan y dywedwch, Y mae cawod yn dyfod: ac felly y mae. 55 A phan weloch y deheuwynt yn chwythu, y dywedwch, Y bydd gwres: ac fe fydd. 56 O ragrithwyr, chwi a fedrwch ddeall wynepryd y ddaear a’r wybr: ond yr amser hwn, pa fodd nad ydych yn ei ddeall?”

“Does dim ffasiwn beth a tywydd drwg, dim ond dillad anaddas.”

Mae’r Prydeinwyr yn enwog am son am y tywydd a mae hyn i’w weld yn yr iaith.
Sonwyd am storm mewn cwpan de, bod ar y nawfed gwmwl, safio am ddiwrnod gwlyb, teimlo pwysau’r tywydd neu bod yn hirwyntog.

Mae hyn yn rhannog gan fod y tywydd ym Mhrydain yn anodd i’w ragweld gan fod Prydain ar groesffordd rhwng gwyntoedd Arctig o’r gogledd, gwyntoedd y tropics o’r de, gwyntoedd gwlyb o’r gorllewin a gwyntoedd sych o cyfandiroedd y dwyrain.
Creuwyd amgylchiadau newidiol yn y tywydd, mewn cyferbyniad i’r rhai mae Yr Iesu yn son amdanynt yn efengyl heddiw.

Yn Galilea byddai gwyntoedd o’r gorllewin yn dod a glaw tra fod gwynt o’r de yn dod a gwres orboeth.

Gyda pysgotwyr ymhlith y Disgyblion byddynt yn gwybod hyn, ond mae’r Iesu yn awgrymu eu bon’t yn ddall i arwyddion yr amseroedd nac yn medru gweld yr hyn sy’n digwydd o’u cwmpas.

Mae gweinidogaeth yr Iesu yn datblygu yng nghyd-destun meddiannaeth y Rhufeiniaid, cynllwyniau Herod Antipas, drwgdeimlad y boblogaeth, ffraeo rhwng yr arweinwyr crefyddol a’r anhawsterau y mae Ef yn eu gwynebu. Mae E’n rhybuddio am drychineb, tan, rhannu a beirniadaeth – tydi Ei neges ddim yn wleidyddol ond mae ganddo ganlyniadau gwleidyddol ac mae’r Tywysog Heddwch yn rhybuddio am gweryla ym mhlith teuluoedd o herwydd eu ymateb iddo.
Mae E’n galw’r torfeudd sy’n ei ddilyn yn ragrithwyr – pam na fedrant weld be sy’n digwydd?

O weld fod y tywydd poeth ar hyn o bryd yn achosi tannoedd gwyllt a sychder, gydag anrhefn cymdeithasol oherwydd costau byw, streiciau ac anghydfod gwleidyddol, mae’r hyn mae’r Iesu yn ei ddweud, o bwys.
Mae gofyn i bob genhedlaeth ddarllen arwyddion ehangach yr amseroedd ac ymateb iddynt – mae rhannu ac anghytundeb wastad yn dilyn, yn ogystal a newid a gwelliant.
Be sy’n bwysig ydi’r ymateb iddo a sut mae’n cael ei drin.

Heddiw, gyda Newid Hinsawdd yn cael ei amau, costau byw yn codi’n fawr, cynnyrch tatws a chnydau’n yn llai oherwydd diffyg glaw a hyd yn oed marchnatwyr caws yn rhybuddio y byddent yn methu cyflawni archebion, mae angen nid yn unig i ddarllen arwyddion yr amseroedd ond i wneud rhywbeth ynglyn a hwynt.
Yn y cyd destun yma, rhaid sylwi ar eiriau’r Iesu, a alwodd ei Hun y Bugail Da, felly mae geiriau cyfarwydd ynglyn a’r tywydd yn dod ac adlais newydd;
“Awyr coch yn y nos – llawennydd y bugail, awyr coch yn y bore – rhybudd y bugail.”

Gyda fy ngweddiau, Pob Bendith,
Chris, Gwarcheidwad.