Pulpits and lecterns are extremely common in areas of assembly, whether for worship, school, or judicial gatherings. In each of these settings, the dictionary definition does an okay job of informing us what a “pulpit” is and what it’s used for. Webster tells us that a pulpit is a high reading desk, or elevated platform, used in preaching or for conducting church services. In Latin, “pulpitum” means “staging or platform.” Church pulpits are indeed used for such purposes, but if considered more thoughtfully, the spiritual symbolism of the pulpit can be a profound sermon in and of itself.
Leaders of congregations are not found preaching whilst sitting in the middle of the church, reclining in the church pews. They stand at the forefront of the chapel, expounding the word of God to the people from the pulpit. Perhaps this is simply out of convenience for the preacher to lean on if he is tired, or to hold that day’s sermon and scriptures. However, while these uses are helpful, a deeper purpose can be found in Nehemiah chapter 8, verses 4-8: “And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood…And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people…So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” From the pulpit, the preacher is able to convey not the just words of God themselves, but to expound the meaning, to help the good people of the congregation understand how they can better do God’s will in their own lives.
Consider the position of a preacher upon a pulpit, and remember that the Savior himself taught from mountainsides. Both elevate the speaker above the congregation, both signify the importance and divinity of the truths being taught to the people. So, when people attend worship services facing the pulpit, they literally and symbolically look up as they receive God’s word from the preacher.
Furthermore, it is common for church pulpits to be constructed out of wood, and scripture–or the word of God–can often be found resting there. Another name for the Savior is the Word, who Himself laid down His life as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind and was raised up on a wooden cross during His crucifixion. In Him is found everlasting life, and one of the most straightforward ways to Him is through the study and understanding of His word.
Born Again Pews is on a mission to provide congregations of all kinds with the church pulpits and additional furniture they need in order to help spread the good news of the gospel of Christ to all who are willing to listen. We offer customizable wood pulpits and other durable, high quality furniture that can help make your worship services more instructive, symbolic, and comfortable for all who attend. Contact us for a free quote and more information about how we can serve your chapel, from pulpit to pews and more.