Sermon Illustrations

Shakespeare’s Henry the Fifth

In the Shakespearean play Henry the Fifth (which was also a movie a few years ago), King Henry comes against incredible odds on the battlefield.

In one scene you see hundreds of bowmen in the back lines sending a downpour of arrows arching over their own front lines and landing on the advancing enemy.

What you realize is that these arrows are launched with no particular target in mind. They are sent with a string and a prayer. In that situation who decides if the arrow lands harmlessly in the ground or lands in the throat of an enemy soldier? The slightest wind will change the course of a thousand arrows. And one metre right or left will make a difference between no wound and a lethal wound.

The answer: God decides. That’s why in the play, King Henry’s victorious little army sang, "Non nobis domine, gloria," as they walked through the bloody field. "Not to us, O Lord, be the glory." — a quote from Psalm 115:1.