Decided to comment on a few of the quirky things lying around the office where sermons are born – and the ways they make me reflect on the preacher’s task.

Object #1

In the picture below is a fragment of a Roman roof tile which my father gave to me years ago.

Running down the right hand side is a small gulley made by the finger of a Roman tile-maker. In the middle towards the bottom is a small curved mark made by the same person as a trademark of his work.  This piece of ordinary tile, centuries old, still bears the mark of the man who made it when the clay was still wet. I love to handle it, run my finger over those marks , and imagine the person who made them.

Sometimes those who are new to preaching reflect on their sermon and  say that there is ‘too much of me in it’. Can that ever be true, I wonder?  Didn’t God call you to preach so that his word could be heard in your distinctive tones? Of course you don’t want to feed people on a meagre diet of your own wisdom – but nor do you want them to have a kind of depersonalized theology that could be delivered from a machine.

I’m sure its both – but meanwhile my imperfect Roman tile reminds that God calls me – flaws and all.