“ Everyone is familiar with Sherlock Holmes, his faithful companion Dr. Watson, and Holmes’s keen power of observation that solved countless crimes. Yet few of us know that Holmes thought deduction and observation were even more necessary to religion. Tucked away in "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty," Holmes is found studying a rose. Watson narrates: "He walked past the couch to an open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show an interest in natural objects.
" ’There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion,’ said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. ... ’Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.’"
“What other "extras" should we be observing and thanking God for this year?”
[SOURCE: Chris T. Zwingelberg. Elgin, Illinois. Leadership, Vol. 6, no. 3.]
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Adam Deibert on May 7, 2004
A couple was driving home on their 25th wedding anniversary after a celebration at a fine restaurant. The wife was sitting over against the door on the passenger side. Her husband was behind the wheel. And she began to lament: “Oh, honey, remember when we were so close? I mean, I remember when we ...read more
Contributed by Jeff Simms on May 28, 2003
In “A Forgiving God in an Unforgiving World”, Ron Lee Davis retells the true story of a priest in the Philippines, a much-loved man of God who carried the burden of a secret sin he had committed many years before. He had repented but still had no peace, no sense of God’s forgiveness. In his ...read more
Contributed by Tony Klinedinst on Aug 12, 2002
5-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn’t want to go in alone. "It’s dark in there and I’m scared." She asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, "It’s OK--Jesus will be in there with ...read more
Contributed by Paul Fritz on Oct 18, 2000
Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, was angered by an army officer who accused him of favoritism. Stanton complained to Lincoln, who suggested that Stanton write the officer a sharp letter. Stanton did, and showed the strongly worded missive to the president. "What are you going to ...read more