In the heart of our land is the Gower Peninsular, one of Britain’s best kept secrets, they say, but in the heart of the Gower is an even greater secret, but one we need to share abroad. On the cliff top, over looking Oxwich Bay is a very special place, Nicholaston House. Here is a welcome for all who need healing, refreshing, or renewing of their faith.
‘Looking forward to Easter’ was a special week of preparation for our celebration of Easter, (Passover as some prefer to call it.) What a privilege to step into this house, to read afresh God’s promise written on the walls of the foyer, ‘In this place you will find peace,’ and to know God was meeting with us in a special way as we were welcomed by the dedicated staff, settled into the beautiful rooms with views across the gardens to the bay, and oh yes, to be well satisfied by the delicious meals provided. Our fellow guests had soon become friends, and now we were safe and secure, ready to experience the ministry God had provided to refresh, restore and lead us deeper in our walk with him.
Out of her own experience of healing Helena first asked us all to introduce and share a little of our own walk with the Lord before she introduced the theme of our meditations, which was Intimacy with Jesus, the shepherd King, the Lover in the story of the Shulamite recorded in the Song of Songs attributed to Solomon.
Our time together met needs of spirit, soul and body. Those with still strong legs scrambled their way down to the bay, strode, or even puffed their ways to the top of Cefn Bryn while some of us were blessed by a quiet stroll in the beautiful gardens.
The Celtic chapel is a special part of the blessing. Staff and visitors met together each morning for devotions. Not only did God speak to us through his word, but helped us raise the voices some of us thought we had lost, teaching us to listen too as he blended our voices in harmony, while the spirit of the Lord was present to heal.
We were not just looking forward, but felt we were walking towards Easter as we shared the Seder meal, where we were taught the significance of the Jewish Passover, - looking back to the Passover lamb who died for them in Egypt, but of Christ our Passover whose death and resurrection we celebrate.
It was a precious meditation as we followed the Stations of the Cross (with pictures placed strategically around the house,) where we read the appropriate scriptures, ending with a time of worship in the chapel, while our last evening together was a very meaningful sharing of communion, our Lord’s Supper.
Good Friday: Our last time of worship in the chapel, and then those who could joined in a united service of local churches, gathering around the cross on the green at Reynoldstone and then carrying it to the top of Cefn Bryn.
As we returned to celebrate Easter Day in our own fellowships, I trust we will remain impacted by the meditations Helena led us in concerning Intimacy: that we will determine to refuse negativity but accept God’s delight in us as the Shulamite had to; continue to experience that wonderful sense of belonging; know he calls us too by name, and share that deep experience of companionship that those first disciples knew, who shared their lives as friends of the Master. May we press on to know God as Lord, as our tender hearted parent, and provider; understanding and being understood.
I’m sure we were all deeply challenged as we considered those blockages which may so easily arise, and even as I write to share my blessings, I ask myself, ‘Am I willing to be alone with my Saviour?’ May I, as the Shulamite had to, guard against complacency, and ever keep that spark of first love ready to burst into a flame, and to sing of those ten thousand reasons we each have to bless our wonderful Lord.
Yes, we were looking forward to Easter, but now may we all walk with confidence in the reality of Easter Day. Now is Christ risen indeed.