Stuck with preparing a sermon on a challenging theme, I took a coffee break and browsed some blogs I follow. A post this morning by Richard Littledale grabbed my attention, Mr Preacher (Which one are you?) Richard writes how
"There are occasions when we preach where we feel gifted and equipped for the job. On others, however, we feel acutely aware of our own shortcomings and wonder whether we are up to the task."He then refers to the Mr Men books by Richard Hargreaves and how on different occasions as a preacher he identifies with various Mr Men characters, including Mr Small,
"feeling overwhelmed with the task in hand and hoping to hide behind the pulpit, the Bible or something."Richard Littledale asks, "which one are you?"
Here's my first thoughts answer. I don't identify with any Mr Men (I'm a woman), but could have a shot at some of the "Little Miss" companion series. Even that's difficult. I'm not 'little' (not in girth anyway) and I'm not a 'miss'.
Part of me is "Little Miss Shy" but she doesn't want to tell you anything about that - she's hiding - but hiding in a pulpit is not an option - not physically anyway. Part of me is "Little Miss Perfect" which is why sermon preparation can be such agony. Part of me is "Little Miss Helpful" who wants to help but often gets it wrong. Part of me is "Little Miss Sunshine" but can't help seeing the other side of the positive. Part of me is "Little Miss Giggle" who has perfected the art of keeping a straight face at the most solemn moments of liturgy which is usually when the most ridiculous things happen. Last week I was "Little Miss Whoops" because I forgot to lift the skirt of my cassock as I climbed the steps and almost fell into the pulpit.
Next Sunday I would like to be...or perhaps not? Richard Littledale suggests that for a preacher it's really only "Mr God" that matters. I take issue with that as God has no gender. But I do agree it's what God does (in spite of what I might or might not say) that matters. If only I could learn to get out God's way sometimes.