Sermon Illustrations

“In God’s economy, ownership is very different. The Bible tells us that we are here for but a moment, that our lives are a puff of smoke. I have never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul. Mother Theresa is merciless on this theme. She said that “if you have two jackets, one belongs to the poor.” This idea is radically different from what we are told today: What’s mine is mine, what is yours, I wish was mine.

I believe there is a happy little dance we can do to exercise authority over stuff and in the process, reclaim our souls. I learned that little dance from Randy. Randy, a good friend of mine who was surviving by collecting recycled cans in the community, told me he was living miracle to miracle. He could make about $ 25 a day collecting pop cans. One time when he really needed a miracle, he found someone’s cell phone in the back lane. When he returned it to the owner, they gave him twenty dollars. He was happy. He helps me redefine the term ‘enough’.

With barely enough to survive on and having lost a lot of weight in 2 months, he told me about another find. He found a diamond ring set in white gold on one of his dumpster diving ventures. He said, “It had five diamonds on it – worth about $ 500 bucks minimum.”

I knew where this story was going – obviously he pawned it and was now eating like a king. He corrected me on my assumption. He said, “No Kent, I gave it to my niece (who is more like a daughter to him), it looks beautiful on her.” I was surprised how little power that ring held. You see, Randy hadn’t let stuff take control of his life. He has learned to laugh at the stuff we take so seriously – a gut laugh, deep from his empty stomach.” (News Flash – Inner City Youth Alive – summer 2007)