Sunday, September 7, 2014
"Moby Dick" - A Sermon in a Book
What better book for a Sunday Sermon than Herman Melville’s immortal “Moby Dick”. So many people complain about having to read this book in high school and college classes. I have even heard it referred to as being irrelevant. What a shame!
This book has grown more relevant with each passing year since it was first released in 1851. Though unappreciated when it was first released, over time it has become recognized as a true classic with a real message about human frailty and vengeance.
The story of Ishmael, the novice whaler, and his journey through an immoral and indifferent world has never lost its relevancy or its bite. We still live in a world of Ahab’s chasing personifications of Evil, mostly to the detriment of the innocent.
The questions raised within this book are timeless and universal. Who has the right to Vengeance? Is it the provenance of the man afflicted by Evil? Or does Vengeance truly belong to a Power larger than ourselves?
As a literary gem, this book is still worth the time it takes to read it. From the naming of Ishmael as the principal character, to the Resurrection of the coffin after the Apocalyptic battle between Ahab and the Whale, the book is filled with references to Scripture and the lessons within.
Perhaps, in our modern world of 60 second sound bites and fleeting fifteen minute fame, the book seems overly complicated. There are no special effects; just meaningful words spoken by characters both flawed and innocent. That alone should make the story both familiar and applicable to just about everybody you know.