Sermon Illustrations

Ron Mehl in his book “The Ten(der) Commandments shares these insightful thoughts, “As I write these words, February 14 draws nigh on my calendar. Unless you’re Charlie Brown or Saddam Hussein, you’ve probably given and received some special valentines in your life. You’ve probably had some things wrapped in red foil or fancy ribbon or a heart-shaped box. Or maybe you’ve stood at a florist’s counter trying to decide on a “just right” arrangement of roses.

It’s fun to say “I love you” in elegant, ornamental ways sometimes. It’s fun to bring a sparkle of surprise into the eyes of your valentine. (Even a Snickers looks better if it’s got a red ribbon around it.)

But the truth is, love doesn’t always come wrapped that way. Love doesn’t always arrive in pink foil with little red hearts. It doesn’t always come in a perfect bouquet of hothouse flowers.

Love comes in surprising packages sometimes. Love—the real thing---arrives at the front porch of your life in ways you might not expect or immediately recognize. You have to have your eyes open to see it…and receive it.

It may come in a normally reserved father’s quick tear.

Or in a teenaged son’s spontaneous, awkward hug.

Or in a little girl’s crayoned landscape, created just for you.

Or in a friend’s quiet willingness to put his or her own shoulder under your too-heavy load.

Or on a lonely, blood soaked cross one dark Friday, somewhere outside

The city gates.

Mehl concludes, “Love doesn’t always look the way you’d expect it to look. It isn’t always dressed for dinner. It isn’t always pretty or frilly or soft. It might even be written in stone. It might even show up as Ten Commandments.”