All roads lead to Llanelwedd this week as the biggest agricultural show in Europe which annually attracts over two hundred thousand visitors takes place. The ‘Royal Welsh’ brings together the best in the world of agriculture and has become prestigious in its own right by attracting exhibitors from throughout Wales and beyond. The quality of competition is of the highest order among the attractions are sheep dog trials, sheep shearing competitions, falconry, and the added attractions of arts shows and crafts. There’s something for everyone to enjoy and given ‘Royal’ status some years ago and more visitors than ever expected it’s no wonder that the Royal Welsh is the place to be this week.
Just to walk around the field and to meet up with those who we may not have seen since last year is in itself a lovely experience, add some good weather and the lovely setting of the Powys countryside and the mix is just right. With the finals of competitions arranged throughout the year by the various Young Farmers Associations it has been said that many a romance has blossomed as common interests in farming and agriculture have blossomed into something more. So much so that some have commented that marriages are not only made in heaven but at Llanelwedd as well!
It’s good to come together and to meet with friends old and new whatever the event. The Bible tells us that Jesus delighted in the company of all sorts of people and his love and friendship extended far beyond his disciples and friends. Those considered to be outcasts, even the dreaded Roman leaders the hated tax collectors, prostitutes and those thought as religiously unclean found in him a friend. A hungry crowd of five thousand were fed, he delighted in the company of children, so much so that one day a whole city came out to praise him with palms and songs of praise.
Every Sunday and often in the week people come together in churches and chapels to meet as the family of God to learn more of Jesus’ friendship and love and to know that we too are among those he will never turn away. The real joy of worship is enhanced when we know that we join with others of like mind to sing, pray and to hear the word of God proclaimed. That’s the church, coming together in faith and celebration, befriending all who come and praying for the coming of God’s kingdom of love and justice – Welcome to the family.