Sermon Illustrations

In a recent issue of Preaching Today (Sept/Oct 1998), Dr. Brian Harbour related the following story. Dr. Harbour, pastor of FBC Richardson and Dr. Duane Brooks, pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, were in Waco attending a Baylor Regents meeting. They were on the elevator and were going to the new Student Life Center to work out before dinner. Harbour said, “As usual, I was busy talking to Duane and not noticing anything or anyone around me. He realized that Dr. Brooks wasn’t listening to him, but, rather, he was staring at an African American gentleman who was standing in the center of the elevator. As the elevator came to a stop and the door opened, Brooks said to the gentleman, “Are you who I think you are?”

Harbour said, that when Brooks asked that question, he looked up to see James Earl Jones standing right beside him – within inches of him, on the elevator. He said, “I’ll never forget his answer.’ You know the voice. “Yes, my name is Jones.” That’s the voice of Darth Vader. That’s the voice we all know from Alex Haley’s Roots. James Earl Jones is “The Voice” (51 movies, including Clear and Present Danger, Hunt for Red October,

Field of Dreams, Return of the Jedi, The Sandlot, Patriot Games, $1.5 billion in revenue;

the voice of Mufasa in The Lion King.)

Now, what are the chances of standing six inches from James Earl Jones in an elevator in Waco? Harbour said he wanted to ask, “What’s a person like you doing in a place like this?”

Perhaps the real question is not, “What’s a person like you doing in a place like this?”

Perhaps the real question is Duane Brook’s first question to James Earl Jones: “Are you who I think you are?”