Advent November 27, Saint Cyngar’s Day
God Knows Your Needs
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:25-34)
Our needs are well known to God. The person who places the kingdom of God, God’s mission, and faithfulness to God at the top of his/her priorities should have no need to fret about the basic concerns of life. It is as though the Kingdom of God has inverted Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The pursuit of spiritual fulfillment establishes the foundation for living, and having taken care of our spiritual pursuits, God will supply the basic needs of food and shelter for us. Though this does not mean that we do not need to work, it does mean that we do not have to worry, because God is there for us. This is one of the great truths of the missional life. God will take care of our concerns as we learn to concern ourselves with His concerns.
In the 5th century, the son of Geraint the King of Dumnonia, Cyngar left his homeland, fleeing an arranged marriage he did not want, and from a young age began missionary work. He appears to have been known by the names Cyngar, Cungar, Docwin, Dochau and Dochdwy. His name is found on churches and holy sites in Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Devon and Somerset. He is said to have risen in each morning, stood in cold water and recited the Lord’s Prayer three times.
Over the course of a long life he established a number of churches, or monastic communities. Near Congresbury, Somerset he settled in a marshy area surrounded by water and rushes, which through hard work he turned into working pastures. In Flintshire, North Wales, he is the patron of the parish of Hope, and in Llandough near Cardiff two locations were dedicated to his name.
In his old age, he followed the mission journeys of his nephew Saint Cybi. The story says that Cybi, Cyngar and a small group of ministers went to Ireland. A small living cell was built for Cyngar, and because he had become too feeble to eat solid food, he was given a cow with a calf to supply him milk for his sustenance. Fintan, a monk living nearby felt that Cybi and his fellow monks were stealing his land, and when Cyngar’s calf walked into Fintan’s property, Fintan tied the calf to a tree and refused to send it back. This only made Cyngar weaker, because the mother cow was now not giving milk. The story says that Cyngar prayed, and the calf miraculously pulled the tree out of the ground and dragged it back home, and both Cyngar and the calf had milk again.
In his last days, Cyngar left for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but either in Jerusalem, or more likely along the way in the Britanny, he died. His body was returned and he was buried in Congresbury, Somerset, near where he had turned a swamp into a farm.
Prayer: Lord, my days belong to you. Help me to set my intentions toward living a godly life, and serving others. I know that in doing so, you will prove yourself to be the supplier of all my needs, and I will not have to fret or fight to get what I want and need.
Life of Cyngar in Lives of the British Saints
History of Cyngar from Llangefni Church
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