by Rev David Jones,

I was born and brought up in Seaside which many believe is the oldest districts of the town.  A part of seaside now long gone consisted of two rows of lime pained cottages, one room up and one down and known as Custom House Bank but with a real sense of community. The late Harry Davies in his ‘Looking around Llanelli’ tells of the women of the bank staying up all night if a baby was due; a death in the street meant that neighbours rallied around lent their best crockery and furniture and ensured new mats and that walls were repainted for the funeral.  Like many other communities there was a natural care and neighbourliness that was part of life and a sense of responsibility which families had for each other.  There was little money, times were hard, but the sense of care and belonging were the biding strengths that really made a difference.

On the Day of Pentecost which we celebrate this Sunday a new community was born, the community of the church.  In the power of the Spirit the early Christians met together and shared everything they had, so much so that in Antioch their fellow citizens exclaimed ‘See how these Christians love one another!’  That love overflowed into a dark and hostile world and many to this day have come to faith in Jesus by the experience of God’s love being shared through the community of the church.  The story of the ‘Good Samaritan’ which Jesus told, besides breaking down the barriers of religious hatred was a simple act of love and compassion which saved the life of an abandoned traveller who had been set upon by thieves and left for dead. Through his teaching and example, we know that our neighbour is anyone who is in need, be it in our own street or the other side of the world, so passing by on the other side is no longer an option for those who follow Christ.  Not our way but his… the best way of all!

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