Sermon Illustrations


Ruth Rettig tells the story of having gone through unsuccessful cancer surgery and following up with chemo in Houston, which meant 500-mile roundtrips from their home in central Texas. The trips were exhausting enough but the chemo made her feel sick to death. She lost her appetite, her hair and her will.

Wallowing in fear and self-pity, she heard God say, "Plan a Christmas pageant that would bring the story to life for her grandchildren." She said yes despite her fears that her children would think it was corny. She decided first on the barn as the scene of the pageant. She got to work taking the plot for the script right out of the Gospel of Luke. She assigned the roles to her family members, unbeknownst to them. She began making the costumes.

As she worked, she felt new life come to her. She enlisted her husband to make the star in the East and the shepherd's crooks in his workshop. Finally the holiday arrived and after Christmas Eve dinner when everything was cleaned up and the leftovers were put away, they set the scene, handed out the costumes and the printed instructions. When everyone was ready, she began to read the story from the announcement of the angel to Mary to the arrival of the wisemen. And as they laid their gifts at the foot of the manger, they sang "Silent Night", 'Away in a Manger" and then "Joy to the World." And as the last notes hung in the air, no one could move for they all felt God's warm presence in that cold, dark barn.

And then she writes, "And in that closeness...I'd left my fear behind. My soul was light, a newborn light that God had been leading me to for 6 months. It was the radiance of the manger, a radiance I helped God create. So you see, if you're stricken by illness or misfortune, (in other words, if life doesn't make sense) find something worthwhile to do (for God) and then do it...Don't be afraid. Go!"

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media