Sermon Illustrations

Story: When Winthrop and the Puritans arrived in Salem they were shocked to discover a settlement which had been devastated with sickness, death and despair. The people who greeted them at the shore were lifeless, lethargic and in a depression. Many wanted to go home to England and the settlement was like a camp site not a city as they had expected. The settlement seemed doomed to failure just like Jamestown. Instead of being a city on the hill shining the light of Christ it was a camp site filled with darkness and hopelessness. Winthrop overwhelmed by the sight returned to the ship “the Arabella” and started praying to God for help and insight in what to do. That night the thoughts and the vision started pouring into his heart and mind from the Holy Spirit. After the vision and inspiration was clear in his heart and spirit he sat down and wrote out “A Model of Christian Charity.” The Lord spoke to him that night and told him this was the solution to the problem in Salem. He returned the next morning and met again with Endecott the current Governor who he would replace and they talked about what Endecott had learned from the Pilgrims down the coast. Winthrop got his confirmation from that discussion which pointed right to the vision he got for this cities renewal. He then called a city wide meeting telling everyone to come out dressed in work clothes, leaders, nobility, gentry everyone! When they showed up as their new governor he stood there with his work clothes on and then shared the vision he had received from the Lord. He told them that all of them would work together building each other proper dwellings. They would all become servants of each other and usher in the plan and the purpose of God. They would not only honor the 1st Commandment of Jesus “To Love God” and serve Him, which they had been doing. They went to church twice on Sunday and held Bible Studies during the week. But they would also honor the second Commandment and that was the horizontal relationship they were to have with each other in the community. Jesus also told them to “Love each other like they did themselves.” So it was time for all of them to roll up their sleeves and work hard for each other to create a community driven by a servant’s spirit. The leaders he included where also going to role model servant leadership by being willing to work hard physically for their neighbors who where in need! The result Salem was birthed and the city was lit on fire for Jesus.