Faith at Work L

September 2008

“See, I am making all things new” [Revelation 21:5] – the holiday is over and we need to think about starting a new term or a new period of work. How will it be different from before? How will we adapt to the new situation? Can we see how we will grow into it, benefit from it and be affirmed in our own right? Not always easy, but perhaps worth pondering! Change can sometimes be a good thing and we often talk of transformation in a positive way.

There has been almost continuous change at the factory that I visit as chaplain since I started there. A new assembly line has been constructed and the old one brought from another building to operate alongside it. Several presses, which long ago paid for themselves, have been moved out and, as I write this, a press weighing 140 tons is being moved from one location to another – it started on Tuesday and was to finish its 100 metre journey a couple of days later. Will it perform as well in its new place, I wonder

These changes are made in response to the changing market and the ever-increasing demands of both the customer and the world. Manufacturing continues to be put under greater and greater pressure; sometimes we can tune our processes and adapt, but there comes a point when we have to transform our operation in order to remain profitable; otherwise someone else may be able to offer a better, cheaper way. Then we will need to find something new to keep body and soul together; answers are not always easy to find.

On 14th September, we celebrate Holy Cross Day and give thanks for all that Jesus did for us on the cross. He felt that he had the whole world on his shoulders: the church didn’t seem to understand that the old law had to be newly endowed with the spirit of God and to evolve with each need it faced; the security forces wanted a quiet life and would suppress “troublemakers” with whatever it took, including crucifixion; the people were happy to hear his preaching and receive his healing, but were often like the seeds falling on rocky ground, keen to sprout but unable to put down sufficient root to grow.

Jesus had to suffer and, because he kept to God’s purpose, was put to death for his pains. At that point, everything was made new and the world was transformed by his love and compassion – it will happen again at the end of time according to John in the quote we started with; it may happen to us, or we may cause it to happen, much sooner when we encounter or encourage change in our lives … and so, with Reinhold Niebuhr, we pray:

God grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

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 2008-08-13

Copyright © 2008 Mike Fox
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