David, A Saint For Today

I’m not big into saints’ days – in fact not at all, really. But today I am taking assemblies at our children’s school and as it’s a church school I’ve been asked to speak about St David.

So I’ve had to do some research. Shortness of time has meant the Internet, and I was impressed by the careful article on Wikipedia – it cautiously avoided hagiography. And what I read made me think he is ‘a saint for today’. That is, not merely for the First of March, but for our times.

Here is a famous quote from the great man:

Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.

This man who recommended joy lived a simple lifestyle.  Monastic to the point of extremes – a diet of water only to drink and bread and herbs (bread and watercress) only to eat. No technology – his monks had to plough the fields without the help of animals. Emphasis on doing ‘the little things’, despite the miracles associated with him. A sort of sixth century Amish, in a way.

It was all rather radical, and yes, as I said, extreme. But this man clearly knew what brought true joy. Not money, possessions, comfort, adulation or anything else: his joy was connected with ‘[his] faith and [his] creed’. Is it reasonable to assume that David’s deep joy came from Christ alone?

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