We drove up to Cwm Bychan on a steep narrow road out of Harlech. At the end of the blunt valley is the path called Roman Steps. It is this path I am thinking of this evening.
Lead me Lord,
Lead me in your righteousness.
Make your way straight before my face.
Mossy places, fungi too,
Sheep nibbling, lichens spreading,
And then the steps,
Dark grey slabs mostly,
Stretching up into the hillside.
One or two are differently patterned;
An orange banded one caught my eye.
Then the small bridges:
Some made of flat slabs,
Others small humped stone structures.
We ascended to just before the lip of the pass
And the returned, tired but wiser.
There are many references to the Roman Empire in the Bible. Think of some of your favourites.
Here are some of mine from chapter 8 of the letter to the Romans. I say it at every funeral service I lead. I like to think of those early Christians in Rome hearing it read to them for the first time. Amazing stuff!
What, then, shall we say in response to all of this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or the sword?
No, in all these things we are always victorious through him who loved us. I remain completely convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
At the end of the day
We pray for those who long for the day to end, for something unjust to end, for something hurtful to end.
May peace and hope be shared amongst us.
Holy God, now let your weary servant go in peace.
Your promise to see the hope and love you have prepared for us has been kept.
It is wonderful indeed. Like a light: glorious in every way to those who embrace your kindom.
Glory, Glory, Glory
Creator, Son and Spirit,
Amen, Amen, Amen.
It is not clear if the Roman Steps at the end of Cwm Bychan are really Roman, or just old. There’s a description here
I particularly like the comparison to a Japanese landscape.
Bob may write about the same walk here