Faith at Work LXXV

October 2010

Over the last four months we have explored the numbers from two to five. What can we learn about six? You’ll know the rhyme by A.A.Milne – you’ll have heard it from your earliest days: “When I was one, I had just begun … when I was Five, I was just alive, but now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever, so I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.” It’s part of growing up, being acclaimed for the achievements we make on our way to adulthood, and developing at a faster rate than ever again, latching on to the insights that fly by. They don’t ever stop – it’s just that we seem to have more freedom to catch them when we’re young. Maybe it would be good to become young again and find ways of being genuine co-creators with God.

In the first book of the Bible, in the first chapter of the first book, we read about the Word speaking into the void and calling things to life. The story leads us through the Six days of creation, with humankind emerging right at the end to “have dominion”, to act on behalf of the good Lord (Genesis says: “in his image”) to be fruitful and to nurture the whole of creation. There is a stained glass window in Chester cathedral created by Ros Grimshaw entitled the “six days of creation” which captures the story very well. She also maps the traditional days that we read about in the book of Genesis to the development and essence of our life in the present day.

We are right to wonder about the magic of creation and to contemplate its magnificent design and coherence, but we need also to relate it to everyday life and work. Alongside the Genesis story, Ros tells of our modern exploration of light (day 1), the heavens with all our satellites and spacecraft (day 2), the science of pollination (day 3), our inner space in our brains and nervous system (day 4), the value of water (day 5) and our medical care (day 6). We are improving our understanding and capability every day, but we are not so good at sharing it across the whole world. This month we celebrate harvest and the money we raise will go to Water Aid, a charity that focuses specifically on providing clean water and sanitation for people who have never known what it is like to regard their water supply as safe. There is no end in sight for that work.

Back in Genesis we read that on the seventh day God rested and contemplated all that he had done – he blessed it and made it holy, a holy day, a holiday, a chance to recuperate and build up energy, and vision, to begin again for the next six days. Let us pray, as one of Fred Pratt Green’s hymns says:

so, for tomorrow’s sake,
teach us new skills today,
to do your perfect will
in our imperfect way,
and live as those whom you have called
to be your work-force in the world.

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 2010-09-03

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