Just like life comes in the place of death, so honor comes in the place of service.
Pediatrician David Cerqueira tells the story of a little girl in his wife's Sunday School class. His wife had prepared a lesson on being useful and told the children that everyone can be useful in serving God. There was a short moment of silence, and a little girl named Sarah spoke up. "Teacher, what can I do?" she said. "I don't know how do to many useful things."
Mrs. Cerqueira had not anticipated that kind of response, but she quickly looked around and spotted an empty flower vase on the windowsill. "Sarah," she said, "you can bring in a flower and put it in the vase. That would be a useful thing."
Sarah frowned. "But that's not important."
"It is," her teacher said, "if you are helping someone."
Sure enough, the next Sunday Sarah brought in a dandelion and placed it in the vase. In fact, she continued to do so each week. Without reminders or help, she made sure the vase was filled with a bright yellow flower, Sunday after Sunday. When her pastor found out about it, he put the vase in the main sanctuary next to the pulpit. That Sunday he gave a sermon on the honor of serving others, using Sarah's vase as an example. The congregation was touched by the message, and the week started on a good note...
But during that same week, Sarah's family discovered she had leukemia. David Cerqueira was her pediatrician, and he did his best to explain to Sarah's parents that nothing could be done to save her life. He says, "I don't think I have ever had a more difficult conversation than the one that night."
Eventually, Sarah became confined to bed and to the visits that many people gave her. She lost her smile. She lost most of her weight; and then, the end was near.
That Sunday, at the end of his sermon, the pastor suddenly stopped speaking. His eyes wide, he stared at the back of the church, and everyone turned to see what he was looking at. It was Sarah! Her...Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
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