A good preacher knows the power of words.
A great preacher is more like a poet, transforming with just a few syllables.
Rev. Peter J. Gomes was a great preacher indeed. I had a chance this week to review some of his teachings, as I received a Gomes award from Harvard Divinity School, a huge and humbling honor.
Rev. Gomes famously upped the ante on the popular Christian phrase, “What would Jesus do?” by asking instead, “What would Jesus have me do?”
When I was studying biomimicry, I began to use an echo of this phase – “What would Nature do?” – to provoke reflection and creativity. What if we ask instead, “What would Nature have me do?”
These two tiny words make all the difference. They move us from a place of judgment to a place of responsibility, from analysis to action. Whatever we honor, this edit tilts the question inward, and forward.
In this demand we find hope.
In this demand we find love.
And that is the brilliance of Rev. Peter J. Gomes.
More about Rev. Gomes and this year’s awards can be found here. https://hds.harvard.edu/news/2022/04/13/gomes-honors-leaders-explore-nature-human-flourishing