In his St David’s Day message, the Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, urges us to follow the example of St David to make our society strong.
With the eating of leeks – sometimes raw! – the displaying of daffodils and dressing up in traditional Welsh costume or a Wales rugby shirt being, perhaps, the most recognisable ways of marking St David’s Day, Gwyl Dewi, it’s sometimes easy to forget not only who David is, but also what he represents.
David is one of the significant saints of our Christian calendar; one of that group of people noted for their faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Central to those teachings are things such as the virtues of faithfulness, compassion, the committed service of others and a desire for society to be governed by principles and laws that are just and fair.
The communities which David and his followers established committed to such virtues, and their commitment to them was unwavering. Their concern for the needs of others rather than for themselves was paramount, and by such standards they lived, teaching and leading others to follow their example.
It’s not only at times like the present, times of uncertainty, hostile political discourse and unwelcome divisions, that the example of David and others like him is important. What they teach us is that community, commitment and concern are things that can make our society strong, robust and caring, and that an ability to live in harmony alongside those with whom we might have significant differences mark us out as decent, honourable, people.
On this St David’s Day and every day, I urge you to be such people for the good of our nation and the good of those around who are our brothers and sisters