Faith at Work XXXIII
"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again"; so said Alexander Pope nearly 300 years ago; Pieria is a district in Macedonia and an early place where people used to worship the Muse and gain fresh insights, glimpses perhaps of truth. We live in an age when everyone is anxious to know, to discover what makes us and those around us tick, to understand the universe, to formulate modes of behaviour and second-guess the opposition. Pope tells us that we need to drink deep.
A little while ago, I visited a successful business at the Science Park that is rapidly becoming known as expert in the security field; they won a Mustard Gold Award recently as a leading start-up company. Our luggage and we have all been through scanning devices at airports and internal objects or substances have been detected, followed shortly by a bag or a body search. “May we open your bag, sir?” “Come over here, please.” I used to be taken aside endlessly because the only shoes I ever wore had steel toecaps, made and distributed by a company within the group I used to work for, and they always set off the alarms … it’s good to know that so much can be sensed, isn’t it? However, the ingenious person intent on a suicide mission may well seek ways of avoiding detection and keeping one step ahead of security. But, if the equipment detects what could be explosive beneath someone’s shirt, what then? Wouldn’t it be helpful to know a little more: what is this person thinking of or planning to do? Dare we risk asking?
Faith is a bit like that; it makes great leaps into the unknown and drinks deep into the mysteries of life. It provides answers that we cannot obtain any other way, not even by the most careful measurement or thought. We have to listen hard for the murmurings of the spirit guiding us forwards. When Jesus was nailed to the cross, he spoke few words – the first was addressed to the soldiers putting him up there: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Towards the end, Jesus had lost hope: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” His faith was the only thing that kept him going - deep down, he must have sensed that dying in love for humankind was the only way to conquer death, to reconcile earth to heaven and to bring salvation to the world. But he only knew that after he had drunk deeper than anyone else had drunk before.
in the breaking of the bread:
open the eyes of our faith,
that we may see him
in all his redeeming work;
who is alive now and for ever.
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 2007-03-04