The Pulpit

Who am I, that I would take up position
 
 behind this thing called ‘the pulpit’?
 
The pulpit, therefore, (and I name it filled
with solemn awe, that bids me well beware
with what intent I touch that holy thing;)
the pulpit (when the satirist has at last,
strutting and vaporing in an empty school,
spent all his force, and made no proselyte;)
I say the pulpit (in the sober use
of its legitimate, peculiar powers)
must stand acknowledged, while the world shall stand,
the most important and effectual guard,
support, and ornament of virtue’s cause.
There stands the messenger of truth. There stands
the legate of the skies; his theme divine,
his office sacred, his credentials clear.
By him, the violated law speaks out
its thunders, and by him, in strains as sweet
as angels use, the gospel whispers peace.
He ’stablishes the strong, restores the weak,
reclaims the wanderer, binds the broken heart,
and, armed himself in panoply complete
of heavenly temper, furnishes with arms
bright as his own, and trains, by every rule
of holy discipline, to glorious war,
the sacramental host of God’s elect.

 (William Cowper)

 

 I twist and writhe with anticipated temptings.

Would dare I stand behind the pulpit and corrupt it,

myself too in selfish soapbox use,

…my own bully pulpit? 

I have cause for such dread fear; 

for this too often is the witness

of mine own eyes and ears.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Pulpit

  1. Tim! That piece from Cowper is SO powerful and profound, and your words following it have described my heart!

  2. cjbooth85 says:

    “and I name it filled
    with solemn awe, that bids me well beware
    with what intent I touch that holy thing;”

    Yeah, I’ve felt that weight…that tremble before opening a bible in front of a group of people and having the audacity to say, “thus saith the Lord.”

    And it’s funny: I’ve had weeks where I felt totally prepared and felt like I knocked it out of the park (so to speak) and got a few, “good job” type comments afterwards, and I’ve had other weeks where I just wrestled and and felt unprepared and even felt like I had to apologize to God for being such a lunk-headed, boorish, lazy whelp and just writhed and repented and trembled as I opened the scriptures and limped through lamely and of course those were the weeks that people felt moved and convicted. And while they’re telling me this I am thinking, “you have GOT to be kidding me…that was the worst thing ever.”

    To quote Cowper again, “God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform…”

    Funny that God would choose to use such flawed vessels for such great purposes…it obviously isn’t so much the quality of the vessel as it is it’s capacity to be filled…

    sorry I can’t be less wordy…I’ll do better next time 8-\
    Good post Tim…………………..

  3. TimWitten says:

    The Lord is good. I am less surprised and increasingly grateful for how He speaks in my life today.
    Blaine, when I saw these words from Cowper (taken from Truth Matters blog 😉 they caught my attention because I may have opportunity to bring the Word to the body on a Sunday evening sometime soon. Opportunity is code for ‘terrifying responsibility’. 😉 I read these lines again and again and they really impact my heart.

    Chris, you nailed it…I really do tremble with the weight of that. I’ve seen it so abused whether by self-importance or carelessness and self-reliance. I know my own flesh; I am capable of these and worse.
    AND… I am not an up-front speaking kind of person. I am often too much in my head, I prefer the written word to having my mouth moving. And small, small groups is my comfort zone.

    Sort of interesting that you wrote this… “Funny that God would choose to use such flawed vessels for such great purposes…it obviously isn’t so much the quality of the vessel as it is it’s capacity to be filled…” I was reading a few related thoughts from Spurgeon and he captures the same idea. I reflected on it in my next post.

    (btw, wordy is fine with me… it helps paint a good picture and brings detail to a conversation.)

  4. Pingback: Honoring Scripture or using Scripture? « The Tells of Tim

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s