Come and explore the meaning and different aspects of the Welsh word ‘hiraeth’. In todays episode we focus on getting into the heart of things. This episode is the sixth episode of a 7 part series. You can find the subjects of and the links to the other episodes at the end of this blog post.
WATCH THE VIDEO
Find the Hope Cymru Youtube channel here.
The world wants to go home, is homesick and feels the grief, loss and yearning for that better country.
The world feels Hiraeth, because we are far from our true home, which though lost across great straits of time and space, has never quite stopped calling to us and drawing us back, through the people and places of our past.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 2000 years ago, came after us and joined us where we are, far away, and went to hell and back again to bring us home.
We are at the door, which He has already opened, back into that world for which we were made, but what does it mean to at last step inside?
PART OF THE ROYAL FAMILY
On the 29th of April 2011, the fairy tale came true, as Catherine Middleton married Prince William, second in the line, to the British throne in Westminster Abbey and became the Duchess of Cambridge.
There was a guest list of almost 2000, 1,000,000 people lining the route between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, over 5000 street parties were held across Britain, while the ceremony was watched in over 180 countries around the world by an estimated 2 billion viewers.
A young woman’s life was changed forever as she married into the Royal House of Windsor, while nearly, one out of every three people in the world looked on.
OUR PERFECT MATCH
Our true home, for which we were made, is not so much a place, as something else.
One writer asked; ‘is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?’
Dorothy Sayers said; ‘I love you. I am at rest with you, I have come home.’
And Emily Dickinson wrote; ‘Where thou art, that is home.’
Charlotte Bronte, had Jane Eyre say; ‘Thank you Mr Rochester, for your great kindness, I am strangely glad to get back again to you, and wherever you are is my home, my only home.’
Johan Goethe, in his beautiful poem set to music by a number of great composers said;
‘Only those who know longing can know what sorrows me, alone and separated, from all joy, I look into the Sky to the Yonder side, Ah! the one who loves and knows me is in the distance…’
The One who made us in overflowing love and kindness, to love us as His Father had always loved Him.
For many years, we have been frantically searching for the One, the person we were made for, our soul mate and perfect match, with whom we have all the right chemistry.
Who is this?
MARRIAGE, A REFLECTION OF SOMETHING GREATER
Times may have changed somewhat since William Shakespeare wrote; ‘many a good hanging stops a bad marriage’ and yet in the midst of our weary worlds, we still have the marriage between a man and a woman still stopping passers-by, and every little girls dream of the handsome prince coming to sweep her off her feet and to live happily ever after, still the theme of the greatest stories, plays, musicals and films down history and across the world.
It is the same story retold and relived a billion times around the world, the story of women from Venus and men from Mars, of two worlds colliding and never being the same, no longer two but one, of sharing and of no one putting asunder what God has put together.
In the wedding ceremony we are shown the open door for us all, back home.
In the wedding ceremony, we hear those beautiful vows, being made with the exchange of rings; ‘I give you this ring, with my body I honour you, all that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you’.
Deeply in love, the bridegroom and bride commit themselves and all that they have to one another, to hold nothing back but to share everything as one.
This is a small shadow of what the true and great lover of the whole human race, Jesus Christ wants to say to each one of us.
He is able with the resources of an infinite reservoir, from his Father’s fountain of love, care and patience to love billions in a way that no other husband has ever loved even one wife.
Having always been loved by His own Father, he now loves and gives generously and freely to us forever.
He will say to you, if you would only let Him, ‘all that I am I give to you and all that I have I share with you’.
He is the founder of the universe and master of the galaxies, everything belongs to him and he offers to share it all with you, now and forever, but best of all to give you himself, so that he becomes yours and you become His, no longer your own, but belonging to Him.
In return, he invites you to say, with everything you have ever thought, said and done, with who you are, to come to Him and say, ‘all that I am I give to you and all that I have I share with you.’
We do not bring so much to the table, lives of selfishness, pride, anger and bitterness and yet he will take it all and take it all away forever in this incredible exchange, because He loves you and wants you to be his.
Connected with Him, and one with Him, He brings us through the doorway back onto the inside, into the family home forever, a greater and more noble family even than the House of Windsor.
The world watched Kate, while an even greater door, into a far higher destiny is open to us all.
THE ONE WHO WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN
In a slum in that great city of Mumbai, in the sweltering heat, in a small dark room, packed with people a young lady stood, up and shared of how her husband had tragically died, how she had been ostracised by his family and her own and had been forced to move into the slum, with her two children, only to find that after a short time, all her property was destroyed in a fire, she broke down and then told of how she had come into the church and to know Jesus Christ, her truest husband, who has never failed her or let her down.
Ernest Hemingway in his short story ‘the Capital of the World’, related the moving tale of a teenage boy, who having sinned against his father in shame, ran away from home. His father searched all over Spain for him but could not find his son. Finally in the city of Madrid, in a last desperate attempt to find him, the father placed an ad in the daily newspaper, reading; ‘Paco, meet at hotel Montana noon Tuesday, all is forgiven. Papa’
On Tuesday, the father in Ernest Hemingway’s story arrived at the hotel Montana and could not believe his eyes, a squadron of police officers had been called to keep order among the 800 young boys name Paco who had come to meet their father in front of the hotel Montana, seeking a father to forgive them.
We have no control over when, where, why and how we come into this world.
Some years ago a 27 year old Indian man attempted to sue his parents for bringing him into the world without his consent arguing that they should pay him to make it worthwhile; his parents were both lawyers and seemingly weren’t too bothered by the frivolous lawsuit.
But a few years ago my wife and I went to New Delhi, we met and heard the sad story of a young man who had been abandoned by his parents as a small boy on the street.
He had been taken into a gang of beggars with whom he had spent some years, one day while sitting begging on the side of the road a car had driven over his legs, and he had been left for dead by the other gang members.
My heart went out to him, I wanted to help him, and wanted to adopt him and bring him into my family.
Later we heard of how he had been taken to hospital, where a local church was contacted and he had been taken to a Christian orphanage.
That day during our visit, the boy stood up, with difficulty, among many others smiling and repeating these wonderful words from Psalm 121;
‘I lift at my eyes to the Hills where does my help come from my help comes from the Lord the maker of heaven and earth.’
He had been adopted as a son of God the Father and brought into the greatest family of all.
A CARING FATHER
As we come to Jesus Christ the eternal Son of the Father and simply trust Him, He not only makes us one with Himself forever, but also brings us into the very same relationship with His own Father, which He has always enjoyed, and makes His Father our Father as well and us His beloved sons and daughters. Jesus allows us to call his father not Mr. President, emperor of the cosmos or even friend, but our Father as well.
Jesus came down and become what we are, to make us what he is, sons and daughters of His own almighty Father, as through marriage union with Him, we are adopted into His family and made sons and daughters of God the Father forever.
Sadly there are many people for whom the word father, does not evoke fond memories, and whose own father was abusive or absent.
When Jesus describes his own Father as your Father, he is not saying that that you are to imagine a bigger version of your own father projected up into the heavens.
Some men become a father to children over the course of their lives, and some do not, of those who do, some play this part better and others worse.
But God the Father was, is and always will be the Father of his Son Jesus Christ. His very being is to generously give life to his eternal Son.
What a Father he has always been to his son Jesus and what a Father he will be to you his child as well.
A Father who will always love you and care for you, who is able to take all the pain and hurt out of your heart, who thinks more thoughts about you than the grains of sand on the seashore, who knows what you need before you ask, who numbers the hairs of your head.
His door is always open, He delights to hear from you and will never let you down. He knows what is best for you, He wants what’s best for you and is able to bring about what is best for you.
He is more ready to give even than you are to ask. His door is always open, his line is never engaged, He never has to put up an out of office, and never sleeps 24/7/ 365, and is never off duty, otherwise occupied or not at his desk.
Through simply trusting in Jesus, we are no longer alone in the world, but brought back through the door into the family home no longer as orphans, but adopted as sons and daughters.
AN ALL ENCOMPASSING KINGDOM
The world has long dreamed of an empire and kingdom; able to encompass and embrace all cultures, skin colours, languages and people groups.
Big enough to hold them all together, in peace and harmony and gentle enough not to squash them but to allow them all to flourish.
In 1971, John Lennon dreamed in his song Imagine;
‘Imagine all the people living life in peace, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be one, imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man, imagine all the people, sharing all the world.’
We saw glimpses of it in the Olympic Games, in Brazil in the summer of 2016 with 10,500 athletes from over 200 countries gathered, in the spectacular opening ceremony, as flag bearers led their nations teams around the vast stadium amidst the buzz and the excitement.
Great resources of money, time and energy have been poured into political, economic and military alliances to bring the nations together.
The European Union with its 27 member states, NATO with its 29 and the UN with its 193 member states.
Multinational companies with their vast international reach around the globe; Amazon operating out of 65 countries, and Google with offices in 50 countries.
We have tried every way conceivable to realise this dream and yet it has not come true.
Inequality, injustice and hatred seem as entrenched as ever not only in institutions but deeper in the human heart, that fortress which no amount of legislation can touch.
And so the cycles of hatred and injustice go on in spite of all protest.
There is something deeply wrong with the human race.
Welsh singer Marina Demandis also known as Marina and the Diamonds sings;
‘murder lives forever and so does war, it’s survival of the fittest rich against the poor at the end of the day it’s a human trait hidden deep down inside of our DNA… another day another tale of rape, another ticking bomb, to bury deep and detonate…..’
And yet twice Marina asked;
‘were we born to abuse, shoot a gun and run or has something deep inside of us come undone?’
There is a part of the world right at the point where Asia, Africa and Europe meet, the centre of the nations, where traders of every skin colour, language and culture converged, called Galilee of the gentiles.
It was here that just over 2000 years ago, Jesus walked onto the stage of human history.
Great and wise philosophers had come to his dawn, following ancient prophecies, from eastern lands and fell down before him and enlisted in his Kingdom.
Three centuries later, Syrians rejoiced that the flag of his kingdom had been planted in the land of Persia.
As a child he was taken as a refugee, to the great continent of Africa and to Egypt, where later leaders said that the idols of Egypt had fallen at his coming.
As he burst as sunrise on the horizon, very quickly all different kinds of people from all over Galilee, the Ten cities, Jerusalem, Judea and all of Syria began to bring to him those for whom life had gone badly, and as they brought them to this great oasis of life and healing they were all made well.
He met a mixed race Samaritan woman at a well and gave her water to drink that she would never thirst again, he healed a poor Samaritan lepper, a royal officials son and was constantly rubbing up against people of every skin colour, language, culture and nation.
He was rejected by his own people and handed over to Romans soldiers, so that everybody had a hand in his death, and yet upon the cross of Calvary he stretched out his arms to all the world, to the East and the West, to the North and the South to embrace them all and bring them together and make them one.
On the third day he walked out of his grave, with the power of an indestructible life and a new kind of human life, in which all the old divisions are gone.
And so Jesus sent his friends out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth to invite people of every skin colour, language, nation and culture into his Kingdom that spans the world and all of history.
His friends went and died to share his invitation with the nations of the world, as great civilizations and cultures were given birth and nations that had long laid in darkness, came alive.
Jesus’ Kingdom is for everybody, there is room in it for all the world, he can handle everybody and make the most of everybody. He is big enough to draw all the world together in harmony and peace around himself and allow us to flourish and be ourselves as we really should be as Welsh, Irish, Chinese, Korean, Australian, Nigerian and Mexican.
The statue entitled ‘Christ of the Andes’ was erected in 1902 on the Argentine-Chile border, at the foot of the statue is written;
‘These mountains shall crumble to dust, before the peoples of the Argentine and Chile break the peace they have sworn at the feet of Christ the saviour’.
Jesus is big enough to cope with all the uniqueness and differences and not to squash us all down but to allow us all to really be ourselves and to be ourselves together, enriching one another in the deepest harmony, love and peace.
His gospel is for everyone, he belongs to the whole world.
OUR TRUE HOME
When we go to Jesus Christ and trust Him and take Him as our very own, we are adopted as sons and daughters of His almighty Father, and by the power of his Holy Spirit are brought into the greatest Kingdom this world will ever know, whose government is upon his shoulders, which is universal and spans not only this land but the globe.
This kingdom of Jesus Christ, in which there is room for us all, will always last and endure, as the empire and kingdom of freedom and life and joy.
Jesus Christ is the God of Wales, the God of your forefathers, from whom we have turned, but who has not turned away from us, but is full of love towards you and waiting to welcome us home.
He stands at the door, to welcome you in, to become yours forever, to make His Father, your Father as well and to bring you into the kingdom upon which the sun will never set.
Jesus is your true home- the one you were made for- when you come to him you come home.
Home is where the heart is.
Jesus made us for himself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him.
The world wants to come home, Jesus ran to meet us and went to hell and back again to be with us and make us one with himself forever, giving himself to us in the deepest and most intimate of ways, allowing us to be adopted as sons and daughters of his own almighty Father and filling us with his Holy Spirit, bringing us into the greatest Kingdom that this world has ever known; not as outsiders or foreigners but as fellow citizens, brothers and sisters in his kingdom forever.