Faith at Work XLIV
I’ve been talking about project work to a variety of people that I have met in their place of work recently. Often the conversation has turned to the length of the contract under which the work is being done and what the future might hold. Sometimes there may be a good case for continuing, that the work is really important for many reasons, but there is sometimes a possibility that the contract will finish with no obvious way of carrying on and new work then needs to be found to “keep body and soul together”.
I don’t suppose that the early disciples had any of this in their minds when they dropped their nets to follow Jesus and catch people instead of fish. They were simply convinced that he had a clear vision and that they wanted to be part of it. This may well be the case for the work that we do – it was certainly true for Tim Smit, the person who persevered to get the Eden Project in Cornwall up and running, when he kept coming up against all sorts of difficulties, money being not the least, but the weather, the condition of the plants and the short time scales all seemed to be against the team. Without Tim’s energy and drive, I wonder whether it would have taken off as it has.
In some ways, we might like to view the disciples’ commitment as a project or contract. Jesus needed them alongside to share the work of developing his Father’s kingdom within the local community. He asked them to follow Him and they agreed willingly. Whilst he was taking the major role in teaching and healing, he benefited from having supporters to pray with, to attend to the needs of the crowds that gathered and to go ahead to prepare people for his coming. They didn’t know when they started that it would only last for three years.
Then, as suddenly as it started, he was arrested, tried and put to death by crucifixion – the disciples’ contract as originally stated was over with scarcely any notice. They wandered about having lost their focus for a few days and before long they were back on the sea fishing and getting on with their previous lives. The resurrection seemed to hold out some hope for a revival but Jesus was not going to stay around in his new form. The “hidden” agenda now was that they would be in charge of growing the church from now on and of making its vision relevant to the world around them.
We all have an annual opportunity through Lent to review our contract with the living Lord, walking the way of Jesus and his disciples and learning from their experiences … and so we pray:
keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
united in prayer and the breaking of bread,
and one in joy and simplicity of heart.
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 2008-02-08