Sermon Illustrations

Arthur Miller, in a play entitled “After the Fall,” describes how we might look at ourselves in this heart attack moment of Lent, when he describes coming home from war. “One day the house smells of fresh bread, the next of smoke and blood. One day you faint because the gardener cuts his finger off, within a week you’re climbing over corpses of children bombed in a subway…I tried to die near the end of the war. The same dream returned each night until I dared not to go to sleep and grew quite ill. I dreamed I had a child, and even in the dream I saw it was my life, and it was an idiot, and I ran away. But it always crept onto my lap again, clutched at my clothes. Until I thought, if I could kiss it, whatever in it was my own, perhaps I could sleep.”

And we bend to try to kiss our own lives, this frightful and disgusting thing that we want to run away from. We try to right ourselves through acts of loving ourselves and proving to ourselves that we are ok. We clog and harden, and it takes Jesus to take that child away from us – to take that horrible child, and hold it in His lap, and kiss it. That kiss is the cross. And the answer to “why” is this - we are his children. No matter how disgusting, or idiotic, we are the children of the Holiness that is beyond everything in us. And that Holiness stops to stoop and kiss us.