Faith at Work XXX

January 2007

During the last half term at St.Nicholas first school, the thread being used to stimulate topics for their assemblies was numbers, a really interesting subject that can never be exhausted.I thought I might ponder on the number three for this article Ė with Epiphany coming up, you may be able to guess why, but can you tell me where in the bible it tells you how many wise men came from the East to find the young child Jesus?I agree that it says they brought three gifts: gold for kingship, frankincense as a symbol of divine authority and myrrh for embalming his body in death but it doesnít say they brought one each or that they didnít bring other gifts.

Some friends of mine are getting quite excited at the moment about computing using three electrical states, negative, neutral and positive.They are suggesting that it might be a lot more efficient using a ternary system than a binary one where the state would simply be on or off, which is the basis of most modern computing.There are known experiments with ternary devices going back to the 1960s and instead of the familiar bits and bytes, the scientists were using trits, trytes and syllables.The project was abandoned for financial reasons but there are those who would claim that it is much more powerful than the binary system Ö maybe in time, it will come to life again.

The pattern (minus, zero, plus) is important for all sorts of reasons and Iím sure you can think of many examples.In the present, you are influenced by your experience from the past and you have hope for the future.In your car, you can remain stationary, go forwards or backwards.As yourself, you can relate to God in one dimension and other people in another.Jesus spent his last three days dying an agonising death (thatís definitely a negative experience), resting in the tomb (which is fairly nondescript) and rising triumphantly to life again on the third day, so positive that Christianity was born as a result.

So, donít tell me that ďthreeĒ is boring; it clearly isnít and itís fundamental in our Christian prayer when we invoke the various aspects of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.So, for example, in Epiphany, we pray:

Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
sustain and guide us,
that we may find our journeyís end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
AMEN



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 2006-11-30


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