Faith at Work LIV

January 2009

I start a new chaplaincy this month; my predecessor is leaving to become a chaplain in the Royal Navy and, since he was working at the other end of the site to me, it is seemed sensible to join it to my other round. He took me around his patch the other day and, whilst the work there has not yet been affected much by the global downturn, we did find two people in the packing area waiting for their next bit of work to arrive. They could see the next wheels to be crated up coming but knew that they had half an hour or so before they would arrive – there’s a continuous conveyor taking the wheels through their final painting process and it goes at a constant, slow speed and for some reason there had been a gap.

So, there they were, waiting … seeing what they had to do next, but able to rest and to be ready for action when the time came. Whilst they were waiting, they thought of a new motto: “make tractors whilst the crops grow” – that would keep them in work for a while yet. It reminded me of two things: first, that we all depend on one another for the work that we do and second, that we need to be always looking ahead for what we need to be doing now, so that we too are ready for what is to come.

Immediately after the delights, and the twelve days of Christmas, we come to the season of Epiphany that starts with the coming of the wise men from the East and finishes with the presentation of Jesus in the Temple at Candlemas. The key thing about the Epiphany is that the Messiah, who had been born within the Jewish tradition to rescue them and be their king, is introduced to the rest of the world as represented by the wise men. This king is not just for them but is to play his part within the whole world.

Barack Obama, as the first black president elect, is to be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States on the 20th January; it will be the 70th inauguration ceremony and the world is eagerly awaiting his swearing-in or affirmation of his taking office. How much will he be able to reach out to a new world order and how much will he be restrained by the demands of his local constitution? We wait in anticipation just as the church waits for the coming of God’s kingdom. In the meantime, there is much work to be done. Sometimes we can see it coming, and so we pray, with George Herbert:

Teach me, my God and King,
in all things Thee to see,
and what I do in anything
to do it as for Thee.

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 2009-01-20

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