Inside the Pulpit

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Uncategorized

While many Christians actively participate in Sunday worship, very few climb into the pulpit. For most, it is an unfamiliar space in the sanctuary, aside from preachers tasked with proclaiming the Good News from that place.

During my ministry, which included serving as an itinerant preacher, I either read the Gospel or preached the Word from nearly one hundred different pulpits. I’ve even stood in the pulpit at the Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany, where Martin Luther once preached. Each one is different. Some are simple boards propped up at a slight angle on a boxed stand. Others have shelves beneath the mantle. Some have water glass holders and most have mounted microphones that may or may not be adjusted. On those shelves, you will probably find dusty old Bibles, hymnals, pencil stubs, errant paper clips, a page or two of a discarded manuscript from some past sermon delivered, maybe a tiny watch to track the windy pontifications, and an added treat—a pack of stale cough drops.

One gift adorning many pulpits is an engraved plaque embossed with a scriptural passage. Its placement is purposely intended to ground the preacher in their role. The message reads: Sir, we wish to see Jesus (John 12:21).

John 12:21 reminds the speaker that the people they address in the assembly before them have come to hear the Word of God, not them. Those who preach act merely as conduits to bring the Holy Word to those gathered.The homiletic message emanates from the Holy Spirit. The pulpit is not a place to spew personal opinions or convey persuasive messages intended for any purpose other than proclaiming the Gospel. The worshipers facing the pulpit have come to see Jesus, not the individual standing before them. That plaque bearing the scriptural verse is a humbling reminder of preachers’ tremendous responsibility. That responsibility is a grace of God.

We invite you to see Jesus this Sunday, March 17, at 9:30 AM for worship. Join us at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 36 East John Street, Lindenhurst. “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” will be part of the Gospel message. A copy of Sunday’s worship bulletin is on the home page for download.

Blessings,
Pastor Marc