Sermon Illustrations

The story is told that during his College years, Samuel Logan Brengle was a brilliant law student who was very gifted in the art of speaking. The Lord called him to the ministry of preaching. After he received his Bachelor of Arts degree, he became a circuit preacher with the Methodist Episcopalian Church.

During the following year he was recognized as an excellent preacher and was recommended to become the pastor of a large city church. His leaders even saw in him the potential to be a bishop one day. As a result Brengle decided to enroll at the Boston Theological Seminary to pursue a Bachelor of Divinity degree before moving to more responsibilities.

It was around this time that the Salvation Army was established in Boston. Brengle was attracted to it and in due course he resigned from the Methodist Church and offered his services to the Salvation Army. This meant that he had to go through a training period to learn the nuts and bolts of Army ministry. This is when he wondered whether he had made a mistake!

His first assigned duty was not to preach to a large crowd, but to clean and polish the boots of his fellow officers in training! He found himself in a little room with eighteen pairs of muddy shoes, a can of shoe polish and… the temptation to quit… To him this was an obvious waste of his time and talent. He had proved himself to be a brilliant speaker; a preacher with a very promising future. He asked himself: “Is this the best they can do for me in the Salvation Army? Did I make a mistake?”

Then in his imagination, he saw a picture: Jesus was washing his disciples’ feet! In...

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