Faith at Work X

May 2005

What is a zip fastener but something that joins one part of a garment to its counterpart? A mechanical engineer called Whitcomb Judson back in 1891 first invented the idea and even though he also created machines to construct them, they were not a great success in the early days. Garment manufacturers were not impressed because the zips often had the defect of springing apart at the most embarrassing moments, but they were eventually made popular when B.F.Goodrich used them to fasten galoshes back in 1923. Apart from their maker, they have no obvious connection with the aerospace actuation systems that are made on the Stafford Road.

Life, however, is very much about connections and we are about to celebrate the joining of Jesus the son with God the father at his Ascension. His work is done and the Easter season, as well as the gospel records of Mark and Luke, comes to an end with this event. Will we be found, like the first disciples recorded in Acts 1:12, gazing up toward heaven (if that is really where it is) when it would be more practical and appropriate to be bringing heaven down to earth? Do we long for their mingling?

If so, maybe it is worth exploring how heaven may be joined to earth? One way of looking at it is through the action of the humble zip fastener the two sides are separate until brought together but they match so well that when bound, they do not (now) come apart. They reflect each other and become well balanced which is why the more traditional form of the Lord's Prayer uses the phrase: "in Earth as it is in Heaven"; have we lost a little when we use the more modern form of "on Earth"?

We may apply this reflection to our lives in all sorts of ways: for example, do we work to live or live to work? Try reversing some of the important things in your life and see whether they can make sense the other way around. How do they affect you, how do they affect others and how do they affect God or does God affect them? In the collect for Ascension Day we pray that, as we believe Jesus to have ascended into the heavens, so we in heart and mind may also ascend and with him continually dwell and that is balanced in the prayer of humble access which we use before approaching our communion as we pray

that we may evermore
dwell in him, and he in us.

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
and subsequent experience during ministry in the parish of Codsall and the BCUIM.
This page was last updated on 2005-03-31

Copyright 2005 Mike Fox
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