A story was told about a business man who was selling a warehouse and its property. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior.
As he showed a prospective buyer the property, the business man took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.
"Forget about the repairs," the buyer said. "When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site."
Compared with the renovation God has in mind for us, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball.
Rather, it is because God has regenerated us and given us new life that we have faith.
Once there was a brier growing in a ditch and there came along a gardener with his spade. As he dug around it and lifted it up the brier said to itself,
"What is he doing? Doesn’t he know I am a worthless brier?" But the gardener took it into his garden and planted it amid his flowers, while the brier said, "What a mistake he has made planting me among these beautiful roses."
Then the gardener came once more and made a slit in the brier with his sharp knife. He grafted it with a rose and when summer came lovely roses were blooming on that old brier. Then the gardener said, "Your beauty is not due to what came out but to what I put in."
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Pat Cook on May 16, 2005
I read a story involving the Butterball Turkey company, which set up a hotline to answer consumers’ questions about preparing holiday turkeys. One woman called to ask about cooking a turkey that had been in her freezer for 23 years. The operator told her it might be safe if the freezer had ...read more
The Elevator PRO
Contributed by Donnie Martin on Jun 27, 2004
The Elevator A man from the back mountains of Tennessee found himself one day in a large city, for the first time standing outside an elevator. He watched as an old, haggard woman hobbled on, and the doors closed. A few minutes later the doors opened and a young, attractive woman ...read more
Contributed by Jane Willis on Dec 25, 2004
I have learned quite a bit about wolves this year in preparation for a winter trip to Yellowstone. One of my favorite photographs of a wolf pack shows them traveling over the crest of a hill, through very deep snow. It is an aerial photograph, which shows an exquisitely organized approach to ...read more
Contributed by Eric Stefanski on Aug 3, 2003
Those who don’t understand the food that God gives, those who don’t see how deep their need is for it, also consider the Gospel and Sacrament as ’fleeting’, and they seek some new ’rush’ in worship, desiring an emotional high, no matter how lacking in nutrition such a meal is. It’s like the ...read more