…born of silence

Spent yesterday in the quiet, tranquil oasis of a local convent praying through the preaching programme for the next quarter. This particular convent observes a silence during the day wherever possible, and I was able to enjoy both the buildings and the delightful gardens in perfect peace.

In a way it seems strange that the oral act of preaching should be born out of silence. Then again, preachers can beconme deafened by prolonged exposure to the sound of their own voice.  Once in a while it does us good to shut up and listen, not to put too fine a point on it!

In his fabuolous book  The Fully Alive Preacher, Professor Mike Graves suggests another approach altogether.  He writes that since preaching is a spoken act, we should prepare our sermons once in a while in a noisy place, surrounded by the sounds of the world. This might be a local coffee shop or even a  station platform. I tried it once, writing a sermon on Revelation over a frothy cappucino in a busy open plan hospital cafe – with interesting results.

Silence or noise – what’s your preference when it comes to sermon preparation?