Sermon Illustrations

The senior chaplain at the Marine Corps Base where I work during the week lost his house and everything in it during the fires this week. When I spoke with him on Wednesday, he had just received the call telling him his house was on the list of addresses destroyed by the blaze. He didn’t mention it, and instead asked how Mary was coming along after her surgery and whether our house was destroyed or not.

When I told him we were doing OK and that the fires hadn’t reached our house, he was very happy for us and praised God. Only when I asked him about his own house and family did he mention the house was destroyed. Just the one sentence, and then he moved on to discussing my ministry on the base.

The following day I found out he was still standing duty, and consoling the more than 400 other evacuees who had been given refuge on our base. In the midst of his own suffering and loss, he still felt the need to reach out in love to others. His unwavering faith in Jesus Christ strengthened his hope and enabled him to act in love toward others in need, consoling them in their loss, ensuring their families had food and shelter, guiding them and bolstering their hope through his love.

That is faith in action. Love makes us act in faith.