Sermon Illustrations

Self-sufficiency is an insufficient legacy.

Frankly, a lot of churches in the 1950s had to face this question. The people had just come out of the Great Depression and understood the value of having a lot of money. When the baby boom came, they were able to use that money to build bigger sanctuaries to accommodate all the children. And that was great to have the freedom to scale resources to meet need.

But what happened to the children? I daresay that in some cases they built the buildings better than the children. Faced between a legacy of bricks and mortar or living souls, I daresay I know which one they called “the Living Stone” would have chosen.

In 1980, Roger Maris reflected on his greatest achievement, but not so fondly. “They acted like I poisoned the record books,” he said. “Do you know what I have to show for 61 home runs? Nothing. Exactly nothing.” How sad to come so far and have so little.

No, at the end of your race, when you have fought the good fight, when you have completed your task, my prayer for you is that you will simply hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.”

Let us enter into a taste of that joy now. Would you pray with me?

From Michael Hollinger’s Sermon: Keeping Score