A Whale of a Pulpit!
Pulpits come in all shapes, styles and sizes.
There is the traditional:
The “cool-contemporary” that supposedly shows the preacher’s transparency
(but at times is mere exhibitionism and more information than necessary):
And the symbolic, such as found in the Seaman’s Chapel in New Bedford, MA which recalls Henry Melville’s famous words in Moby Dick “for the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt. From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favorable winds. Yes, the world’s a ship on its passage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow.”
Then there’s the “whale” pulpit of Sts. Peter & Paul in Duszniki Zdrój, Poland that remind preacher & listener (as Jonah knew all too well) that delivering and hearing God’s word is a risky and dangerous activity.
I don’t know about you but preaching in that one would be unnerving!
But far more important, is the message than the material or design of the pulpit. After all Jesus taught from a boat, Philip used a chariot and Wesley preached from a gravestone. The greatest pulpit of all is the cross. Echoing Romans 5:8 “but God demonstrates (proves) his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us,” Augustine said “the cross is the pulpit in which Christ preached his love to the world.”