One Sunday, during a cold snap, I was sweeping leaves from the corridor between the sanctuary and the education building. Within moments, all the leaves I swept away were blown back over the walkway. In fact, there were more than when I arrived. I gave up.
A few minutes later, I mentioned it to Dick Mason. We both laughed. Later, he mentioned it to Jani James and Linda Sakamoto. They were heading toward the prayer time before the service, and suddenly the leaves became a sermon illustration for sins and failings. I try my best to sweep them away, and I usually try to do it alone and with my own skills and effort. Winds of adversity and pride blow them all back again, and often more than before. Wow. Good sermon illustration! Gotta tell Vic.
Later, after the service started, I saw that the leaves had blown into the sanctuary from the door to the education building. I looked at them for a minute. What do I do? If I sweep them out, they’ll just blow right back in. So I got down on my knees and started to pick them up. Soon, Linda Sakamoto was on her knees doing the same thing. Together we brought them over and put them into the trash can. At least these won’t be blowing again.
Wow. Another sermon illustration. Again I try to deal with my many sins and failings. I start off by myself, but I allow someone like Linda to come alongside me and help me. We are both on our knees in humility. Soon my hands are full, and I see that I can turn these sins and failings over to Jesus. He knows just where to put them. And He has given me the help I need.
But the real story isn’t the leaves. The real story is how Dick, Jani and Linda walk so close to Jesus that even leaves become a reminder of God’s love and power in our lives.
Bob can be reached by email here.