WE must not have a second wave of this awful virus and all those who have died must never be forgotten.

The only way that I can see is for there to be stringent testing of the populations together with contact tracing and quarantine. This has to be done on a local basis.

I would also like to see our churches open as soon as possible, if only for prayer and meditation.

Next Sunday is Whit Sunday or Pentecost, when we celebrate the birthday of the Christian Church.

We remember how the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles as they met in Jerusalem and filled them with such power that they were able to witness throughout the known world. We are told that about 3,000 people believed on that day and became followers of Jesus Christ and that there were new believers every day.

When I was Vicar of Penmaenmawr in North Wales, we used to come together as Christians on Whit Sunday/Pentecost from The Church in Wales, The Welsh Presbyterian Church, The Methodist Church, The Catholic Church and the Oasis Evangelical Church.

We processed, singing through the town and met for an open- air service on the Promenade facing Ynys Seiriol (Puffin Island) and Penmon Abbey.

The secret of the success of the Apostles was that they were eager to share. We are told that the Holy Spirit came down on them like tongues of fire. Fire is easily caught as when we light a birthday cake or pass a light in church from one candle to another on Holy Saturday.

The Holy Spirit is often referred to as wind. This suggests power and invisible force that is able to move objects. A dove also represents Pentecost. All these symbols represent Power, Support, Strength and Courage, all of which are needed in this pandemic.

Today, Pentecost is important to Christians in three ways.

Firstly, it was a source of power for the early Christians to carry on Christ’s mission in the world.

Secondly, it is a source of power for Christians today and in every age to witness in their lives to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Thirdly, it links the power of the early Church with the lives of Christians today.

Bianco da Siena wrote the lovely words translated by R.F. Littledale:

“Come down, O Love divine,

Seek thou this soul of mine,

And visit it with thine own ardour glowing,

O Comforter, draw near,

Within my heart appear

And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.”

The Holy Spirit is essential to guide us through the problems that we face day by day and He reveals himself through Nature and through the Bible. Do you believe that it is possible for the Holy Spirit to guide you every day of your life?

We read in James chapter 1 verses 5,6. “But if anyone of you lacks wisdom, he should pray to God, who will give it to him; because God gives generously and graciously to all. But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all.”

Again, I would like to end with a verse from a hymn by Elfed.

“O tyred i’n hiachau,

garedig Ysbryd;

tydi sy’n esmwythau

blinderau bywyd:

er dyfned yw y loes,

er trymed yw y groes

dwg ni bob dydd o’n hoes

yn nes i’r gwynfyd.”


Finally, a prayer:

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy.

Sustain and support the anxious,

be with those who care for the sick,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may find comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Rev John Powell

Retired vicar of Cardigan