Are You a Craftsperson or Artist?

 September 18, 2017

Ordinary Time – Season of Stability

It seems that craft and craftsmen/women have gone out of style. They finish a poor second to art and artists. We don’t refer to the afghans we make or other hand-crafted articles as simply crafts any more but as works of art, crafts appearing second class to art.

The day of the craftsman went out with the Middle Ages. We manufacturers and mass producers rarely think of ourselves as craftsmen. We throw about words like creativity as if it were cheap, easy. Our children’s art work, hanging on our refrigerators, are signs of budding creative genius in our eyes, not simply working at a craft.

And yet, how often do we actually come up with something that is truly new and original. Most of what we get is washed over seconds or thirds of someone else’s great idea, sometimes two or three times removed. There is nothing new under the sun, according to Ecclesiastes. At best we reshape, fashion, mold and craft what has already been given us.

As a preacher, I was a craftsman. I carefully applied the tricks of the trade, went back over commentaries, inspirational books, quotes, jokes. I stole inspiration where I might find it–a newspaper headline, magazine article, or chance encounter. All were fodder for my craft. I worked them together and came up with, not a new message, but a reworking of the old message of God’s great love.

There is nothing new or astonishingly creative in what I did. It was work, plain and simple, but good work. Work I could take pride in.

I am a craftswoman. We need more such craftsmen and women.

Then I was beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while.  Proverbs 8:30-31


This post is part of a series of reflections on the Church year.   click here to follow blog

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.