Sermon Illustrations

Shane Claiborne tells about how his little community of faith received some money. First, they won a lawsuit against the police of New York for misconduct. Shane with several hundred people had protested the arresting of people for sleeiping outside by sleeping outside. They were arrested, charged, found not guilty, and eventually won a lawsuit against the police. They were awarded $10,000. Then an anonymous person gave them another $20,000.

So what did they do with the money? They decided to have a Jubilee celebration. First they sent $100 to a hundred different communities. Each $100 bill had the word “love” written on it. Then they invited everyone to Wall Street for a Jubilee celebration. Forty or so people brought all the change they could carry – over 30,000 coins in bags, coffee mugs, backpacks and briefcases. A dozen or so people hid hundreds of two-dollar bills all over lower Manhatten. At 8:15 many more trickled into the front of the main entrance to the New York Stock Exchange dressed in a variety ways – homeless, tourists, business folks. At 8:20 Sister Margaret (the nun quoted above) stepped forward to proclaim the Jubilee.

“Some of us have worked on Wall Street, and some of have slept on Wall Street. We are a community of struggle. Some of us are rich people trying to escape our loneliness. Some of us are poor folks trying to escape the cold. Some of us are addicted to drugs, and others are addicted to money. We are a broken people who need each other and God, for we have come to recognize the mess that we have created of our world and how deeply we suffer from that mess. Another world is possible. Another world is necessary. Another world is already here.”

Then Sister Margaret blew the ram’s horn and said, “Let the celebration begin!” People in the balconies threw hundreds of dollars in paper money filling the air. Banners were dropped that read, “Stop terrorism,” “Share,” “Love,” and “There is enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed—Gandhi.”

And the streets turned silver as the folks in disguise poured out their change. The sidewalks were decorated with chalk and the air was filled with bubbles. Someone started passing out bagels. Others started sharing their winter clothes. Another guy hugged someone and said, “Now I can get my prescription filled.” God faced down Mammon and darkness was overcome with light. Hope was proclaimed.