Sermon Illustrations

II. Anthony grew up in an Italian bakery in a mostly Italian neighborhood of New York. His father was the baker, and as long as Anthony could remember he

was at work in his father’s business. The sights and sounds of the bakery permeated every aspect of Anthony’s life. The heat of the oven. The smell of

fresh bread. The sweat and aches of hard work. The whistle of his father while he baked. The stories of his immigrant father’s dreams being realized

in a new land.

What Anthony came to know each day was the HOPE of those dreams being fulfilled. He dreamed of one day INHERITING the business from his father and

realizing his own dreams. And he watched the POWER of his father as he kneaded and rolled out the dough, careful creating each item with love.

One day, as Anthony neared adulthood and had himself perfected the craft of baking, his father came to him and asked him where he would make his own home and set up his own shop? What could father be talking about, this, this is my home This is my shop too Anthony, so disappointed, he left in the night and wandered in bitterness for many years. He held odd jobs. Was

mostly a vagrant and never settled down or stayed in one place too long, though he often checked in with a cousin who lived in Chicago.

One time as he stopped by his cousins, he learned that a letter had come from his home in New York. It was written by his father:

My dearest Anthony,

I never intended for you to leave. I only knew that my small shop could not support two families, but I had saved enough to open a shop for you in another place or town. Now I am old and gray. My eyes are failing, as is my health. Please come home and claim what has always been yours.


III. Anthony returned home to where he worked side by side with his now frail father. He became his father’s eyes when the light seemed dim. He lifted and kneaded and worked the dough remembering the power of his father.The smell of fresh bread filled the bakery once again. And there was that whistling sound being made now as they worked. Not from papa’s wrinkled lips, but now it was Anthony who whistled with a hope in the air.

Perhaps this story might illustrate what Paul wrote to the Ephesians. "that with the eyes of your heart, enlightened, you may know the HOPE to which He

has called you,... the riches of his glorious INHERITANCE... and what is the immeasurable greatness of His POWER for us who believe..." (vs 18).

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