Faith at Work XLVII

June 2008

In the Church’s Year, we have now reached the long Trinity season, or Ordinary Time as it is sometimes called, the time between our Lord ascending into heaven after his death and resurrection and his coming again to judge the world. It’s the time we’re in now and each year we work through the festivals of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost in order to help us relate to the basis of our Christian faith. Trinity is an opportunity to reflect on the nature of God in his three aspects of Father as creator, of Son as fellow human and of Spirit as guide for all we do. Thinking more broadly, religious faith of any tradition will have something to say about the source of life, about our common humanity and about our mutual relationships of love and justice.

A couple of years ago, the church issued a document entitled “Faithful Cities – a call for celebration, vision and justice”. Twenty years before, the “Faith in the City” report produced much debate and some investment through the Church Urban Fund for vital grassroots projects in the poorest urban communities. The BCUIM contributed to the new report about the changes that have taken place in the Black Country with manufacture in decline, saying that: “the old local economy of pubs, chip shops, forges and nail shops has gone. So too have the class divisions of working class and management and the ‘Gaffer’ culture.” It is worth reflecting on this approach – the same is sometimes said of the church: if the vicar hasn’t called, then neither has the church, even though we are all people of God.

As I wander around one of the remaining large factories in my role as chaplain, I hear managers hoping to engage the workforce more in the tricky decisions that have to be made in order to maintain a viable business. I also hear the workforce wondering why the managers can’t see the way forward. Money and investment come into the equation too and do sometimes dominate, but ultimately it is everyone’s business to look after and sustain, however challenging it seems to be.

There’s a similar difficulty in relating to God as Father. Do we regard him, as Adam and Eve did, as a fellow being and walking with him in the cool of the evening [Genesis 3:8 in the story of the Fall]? Or do we prefer to gain our inspiration from a “Moses” figure speaking with God on his holy mountain and bringing down the Commandments [Exodus 34:29] for us to live by? We could even do a bit of both and pray as Jesus taught us:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven …

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 2008-05-10

Copyright © 2008 Mike Fox
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