Sermon Illustrations

Larry Stewart had lost his job and was living in his car. Hungry but broke, Stewart went into a restaurant and ordered a big breakfast. His plan was that when the check came he would claim he couldn’t find his wallet. When that happened, the owner of the diner, Ted Horn, came from behind the counter and bent to the floor near Stewart’s feet. “You must have dropped this,” he said, handing Stewart a $20 bill.

Stewart vowed that day that he would help others whenever he could. He made his way to Kansas City and eventually made a lot of money in business. At Christmas, Stewart would search for people in threadbare coats and old cars. He found them at thrift stores and coin-operated laundries and gave them cash. He called himself the Secret Santa. He asked only that they, in turn, help someone else. Over time Larry gave away an estimated 1.3 million dollars. Larry Stewart died in February 2006. On his death bed he confided in one of his friends about his benevolent work as the Secret Santa. This friend vowed that he would carry on Larry’s work as the Secret Santa. Now, there are many Secret Santa’s across the country. They even have a web site advancing and promoting their work: They only have one condition to those receiving, that they pass something along to others.

It was said of Larry Stewart- “He lit a candle every Christmas that was so bright, every one could see.” (Mat 5:16 NIV) In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Related Sermons