2nd July

The Pleasure Of Unity

How wonderful it is, how pleasing, for God’s people to live together in unity. Psalm 133:1.

Barinthus, grandson of Ireland’s famed King Niall, loved to share his experience of how unity between a father and son can be restored. His son Mernoc rebelled and ran away from home. Mernoc back-packed until he found an island on which some monks had settled. Here he put things right with God, with himself, and with his fellows. In his heart he even forgave and grew to love his father. This released in him prophetic and healing gifts which God greatly used.

Barinthus heard about this, and set out to visit his son. Although there was no physical communication between them, God’s Spirit revealed to Mernoc in his prayers that his father was on his way to visit him. Mernoc did not just sit back, he took a step for unity. While his father was still three days’ journey away, Mernoc set out to meet him. They warmly embraced and Mernoc introduced his father to his island friends, the monks.

The monks lived separate lives in cells that were some distance from each other; from Night Prayer until dawn they neither saw nor spoke to one another. Yet, as Barinthus was later to recount to Brendan, he was greatly struck by their togetherness. ‘The brothers came to greet us out of their cells like a swarm of bees,’ he recounted. ‘Though their dwellings were divided from one another, there was no division in their conversation, their counsel or their affection.’ Barinthus and Mernoc left for a fortnight’s boating trip together, and it was clear to all that what was true of the monks was now true of them. Father and son were one – and it gave such pleasure.

Dear Father
What pleasure it gives you when we reflect in our relationships
The love you and Jesus and the Spirit have for one another and for us.
I know that I am as near to you, Father,
As I am to the person from whom I am most divided.
I pray for those persons I am furthest from.
In my heart I reach out to them.
And you are pleased
And I am pleased.

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