We’ve been thinking about the ‘place of abundance’. I hope you have been able to try and focus on where that might be for you. Sometimes I’ve sensed that I might have found it and then being an elusive thing, it moves. Perhaps that is how it has to be!
The word grace has been lingering around my consciousness, and I am aware that I’ve become a bit obsessional with it! You might well ask what has it got to do with the photograph?
The church is dedicated to St James, and can be found in the little village of Manorbier in South Wales. It stands on a small hillock on one side of the valley, which runs between the church and the castle on the other side, from where I took the photograph. A church has been on this site for over 1000 years and it has witnessed much. It is a graceful place. A little place of abundance, despite all it has witnessed. I first saw it in 1967 when I came here on a family holiday. I’m overwhelmed by the sense that in those intervening years I have been held by grace; God’s grace, freely given and offered.
I hear only these words from the hymn, Amazing Grace…..‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace shall lead me home…’. John Newton, who wrote it, was a witness to grace in bucket loads. He worked, shamefully, on slave ships; became a slave himself, then eventually became a Captain of a slave ship. He then underwent a profound religious conversion, renouncing slavery and becoming a Minister and a tenacious abolishinist.
Grace…..,,,,’ I cannot lose anything, in this place of abundance I have found.’