Faith at Work XL

November 2007

Last month we thought about “Water for Life” and the need to satisfy the world’s thirst for pure water, so I wondered if a good follow on topic would be “Bread of Heaven” and our concern for nourishment both physical and spiritual.  One of the best places for me to meet people at work is during one of their breaks, either in the canteen or in one of the resting places.  I do this regularly both at the Science Park and in the local Council Offices.  It is certainly easier than making contact at their desk when I risk disturbing the flow of their work.  But when the flow ceases and the inspiration dries up, perhaps it is then time for a break and refreshment.

Taking a break doesn’t just mean finding food; the Science Park has recently put up a series of artwork and photographs from people seeking to make a living from creating images of all sorts.  And taking time out now provides an opportunity to be inspired by the work of others.  The exhibition livens up the walls, is a good shop window for displaying talent and may be just the trigger needed for getting the ideas flowing again.  I have certainly been able to engage not just with the displays but also with others taking time out and enjoying the artwork.

It leads me to wonder where our insights come from and how we can easily get stuck if we are anxious or not in the right frame of mind.  The Israelites worried about where their food was to come from as they wandered in the desert until they discovered manna, a bread-like substance that appeared each morning, fit to eat only for that day but enough to sustain them [see Exodus 16] in their nomadic life.  We pray in a similar way in the Lord’s Prayer as we say: “Give us today our daily bread”, which emphasises the main principle of the spiritual life as we rely on insights coming as they are needed to help us and to share with others in our daily work.

Celtic spirituality is founded on this intermingling of the physical and the spiritual.  Here is a typical rune of hospitality from that tradition which invites us to share in all those things that nourish our bodies, minds and souls – we may be surprised by who we meet:

I saw a stranger yesterday;
I put food in the eating place,
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place;
and in the sacred name of the Triune God
he blessed myself and my house,
my cattle and my dear ones,
and the lark said in her song:
Often, Often, Often,
goes the Christ in a stranger's guise.

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 2007-10-02

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