Sermon Illustrations

It was the winter of 1926, an age where narrow-mindedness and bigotry still had power in many places. A woman from Chicago named Thelma Goldstein decided to go to Florida for her first real vacation. She was not familiar with the area, and she unknowingly drove to a restricted hotel in North Miami. “Excuse me,” she said to the man at the desk. “My name is Mrs. Goldstein, and I’d like a small room for two weeks.” “I’m awfully sorry,” he replied, “but all of our rooms are occupied.” Just then, she noticed a man checked out at the counter next to them. “What luck,” said Mrs. Goldstein. “Now there’s a room.” “Not so fast, Madam. I’m sorry, but this hotel is restricted. No Jews allowed.” “Jewish?” she said, “Who’s Jewish? I happen to be Catholic.” The man at the desk said, “I find that hard to believe. Let me ask you, who was the Son of God?” “Jesus, Son of Mary.” “Where was he born?” “In a stable.” The man pressed on, “And why was he born in a stable?” With her eyes flashing, she said, “Because a schmuck like you wouldn’t let a Jew rent a room in his hotel!”

In this world, at the present time, there will be those who do not recognize us for who we are, or respect us. Nevertheless, we are children of the King. And the Scripture says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:17). We have a royal future, so we tolerate any rejection we experience in the world, knowing that the King himself was rejected. We tolerate it easily enough, for the Bible says, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:11-12).

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