Sermon Illustrations

Blind Man Rows On River Using A Bell As Reference Point--From "To Catch An Angel" the Autobiography of Robert Russell

(From The Preacher’s Commentary) “I recently heard the story of another commuter, a traveler of sorts. To Catch an Angel, by Robert Russell, is the autobiography of a young blind man who lives alone on an island in the middle of a river. He goes rowing on the river almost every day by means of a fairly simple system.

He attaches a bell to the end of the dock with a timer. The bell rings every thirty seconds. He can row up and down that river, and every thirty seconds judge his distance by the sound of the bell. When he has had enough, he finds his way home by means of the bell. In the young man’s words, “The River lies before me, a constant invitation, a constant challenge, and my bell is the thread of sound along which I return to a quiet base.”

Life is like a great river. God calls us to venture out on it where there is danger and excitement. But our security is in the bell, which is the Word of God, Jesus Himself.

From a sermon by Chris Surber, Knowing the Season, 11/24/2009

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