What We Can Learn From the "Lesser Knowns"
The media makes note of the well-known celebrities who die, and this year there is quite a long, sad list: John Ritter. Fred Rogers. Johnny Cash. June Carter Cash. Bob Hope. David Brinkley. Gregory Peck. Katharine Hepburn. Buddy Hackett. Buddy Ebsen. But we also lost a lot of lesser or little knowns-- people who never the less contributed their many gifts to the betterment of us all. It is always interesting what you find out about a person at a funeral or memorial service.
My husband and I walked into a funeral home recently for the wake of my co-worker’s father, Earl D. Greaser. He was a long time member of an a cappella quartet and was a great lover of music, so at his memorial service it was natural to celebrate his life with much music of the church. He seemed young at 76, but had lived long enough to see his personal dream fulfilled: overseeing the completion of an entire beautiful retirement village here in Virginia with state-of-the-art and quality care for persons of all income levels and stages of ability.
Earl spent most of his career working with elderly persons in one
facility or another, born out of a desire to help care for those who
couldn’t care for themselves. At his memorial service I learned about
another side to this renaissance man: not only was he a church leader,
musician and retirement village visionary, but the kind of man who would
drop what he was doing to go and help someone else whether it was
installing a switch for a well pump, "Uh, I’ve never done that before,
but let’s see what we can figure out" or loaning the use of his carpenter
shop and tools to a young father who wanted to build a crib for his
baby-to-be. There were many other stories along these lines.
I wish some of his spirit would rub off on more of us, too: always ready
to take the time to help someone else. If you haven’t written your New
Year’s resolutions yet, here are two maybe different ones to consider:
Take time to be more childlike, or just enjoy being with a child; and
take time to help other people. - Contributed by Melodie Davis
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Tim Richards on Sep 15, 2004
A man noticed a lady in the grocery store with her year-old in her cart. The child asked for cookies. Her mother said no. The little girl began to cry loudly. The mother patiently said, "Now Missy, we’re half way done, it won’t be long." The same thing happened in the candy aisle. This time the ...read more
Contributed by Michael Dugal on Jul 20, 2003
Psa 91 – engineer unit (1943-45)Their chaplain encouraged them to carry a copy of this Psalm with them as they went into battle. During two years and over 20 intense battles, the unit expereinced no deaths. During Operation ...read more
Contributed by Michael Mccartney on Jan 8, 2005
2. Cal and Rose Samra share this story from Holy Hilarity: From Rev. John L. Wallace. Christmas: It wasn’t long ago that a psychologists started telling us that the ‘holidays’ are not a source of joy for everyone. Like the drunk I encountered on the subway on Christmas Eve, they’ve been told the ...read more
Contributed by Donnie Martin on Aug 2, 2002
HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT KNOWLEDGE? There’s a story about a proud young man who came to Socrates asking for knowledge. He walked up to the muscular philosopher and said, “O great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge.” Socrates recognized a pompous numbskull when he saw one. He led the young man ...read more
Contributed by John Sears on Feb 4, 2014
Mutual accountability is important to the life and health of the individual and to the life and health of the church. How do we handle the difficult task of mutual accountability? And how can it help us grow as followers of Jesus?