Sermon Illustrations

Some years ago there was a shipwreck off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. A crowd of fishermen in a nearby village gathered to watch the ship as it was smashed on the rocks. A lifeboat was sent to the rescue, and after a terrific struggle the rescuers came back with all of the shipwrecked sailors but one. “There was no room in the lifeboat for him, so we told him to stay by the ship and someone would come back for him,” shouted a young man. “Who will come with me?” shouted a young man. Just then a little old lady cried out, “Don’t go. Jim, my boy. Don’t go. You are all I have left. Your father was drowned in the sea; your brother William sailed away and we’ve never heard from him; and now if you are lost, I’ll be left alone. Oh, Jim, please don’t go.” Jim listened patiently to his mother’s pleading, then said, “Mother, I must go! It is my duty. I must go!” The onlookers watched as the men in the lifeboat fought their way toward the wreck. Anxiously Jim’s mother wept and prayed. They saw the boat start back, a frail little shell tossed about by the angry waves. At last it came close enough to hear, and they shouted, “Did you get him?” And Jim shouted back, “Yes, and tell mother it’s William!”

From Michael McCartney’s Sermon: “Role-Model Saints” Romans pt. 14