Friday, March 24, 2006

Pulpit Quote Suggestions?

I'm not preaching this Sunday, so I'm working ahead on next week's text with its pithy central "sound bite" of the greeks asking Andrew, "Sir, we would see Jesus."

I've stepped into several pulpits over the years that had this quote strategically placed where the preacher could see it when standing to preach. (Apparently the model for this is the pulpit of some church in Scotland.) The idea, as understand it, is to remind the preacher that his, (Sir? Yeah, they're thinking male preacher--even if it is a scripture quote), sermon is supposed to help folks see Jesus: the congregation are the greeks come seeking, the preacher is the disciple that will show them the way. There seems a subtle danger, though, that the preacher could, over time, come to think that when he is in the pulpit, he is standing in for Jesus. That usually leads to bad things.

At the first church I served after seminary, there was a different quote in the pulpit--from John 1: "He was not himself the light, but he came to bear witness to the light." That's better, I think. Pretty clear that the one in the pulpit is NOT the light, even on his best days. Still, there's the little language problem. A female preacher stepping into that pulpit has to do some mental transposing. I know, if that's your biggest preaching challenge, you should consider yourself really lucky. Still--I'm wondering if we can come up with a good pulpit quote for us RevGals. Something scriptural that doesn't require the mental rewrite. I was thinking from Luke 1, "Blessed is she who believed there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." However I wonder if that has the same subtle ego inflation potential as "Sir we would see Jesus."

Do you have any great ideas???


will smama said...

I have no suggestions, but this is certainly a great idea.

Songbird said...

“Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me." (Mark 14:6)

Maybe that's not for the pulpit, but for the congregation... :-)

This is a good idea, and I like your suggestion, which is not necessarily subject to inflation.

Gord said...

TOtally gender neutral, and maybe more for the succession planning...
I planted, Appollos watered, but God gave the growth. (1 Cor 3:6)

Susie said...

Theres always "May the words of my mouth..." from the psalms..

Kathryn said...

Not sure, but I've been blogging about the dangers of people confusing the witness for the light, and would be very interested in your take on that...if you had time to drop in!

SpookyRach said...

Maybe some kind of reminder about the pregame show starting at 11:30?

*ducks and runs for cover*

Anonymous said...

Barbara Brown Taylor once said she prays "Don't let me waste their time" before she preaches.

That or:

"Shout out! Do not hold back! Lift your voice like a trumpet."
Isaiah 58:1

cheesehead said...

I don't have any suggestions, but I'll be watching this space for wisdom from those who do!

juniper68 said...

Does it have to be scriptural?
By dad is a pastor, too, and when I was in seminary and struggling in preaching class, he listened to me panic over the phone for about 45 minutes and then said, very kindly,
"Just get out of the way."
Now whenever I use a manuscript, I write that on the top. It really does help.

Lorna said...

I liked songbirds - but Juniper's was GREAT.

Gord the verse you quoted is my favourite of all time - and why not for Rev Gals and pals

But "we would see Jesus" is a pretty terrific scirpture when you come to think about it.