Sermon Illustrations

Jim Buskirk was pastor of Tulsa First UMC for many years. He’s been a mentor in my ministry. I listened to his sermon tapes for years. He once told this story.

A man named Henry got off the bus near his church. As he walked up the street, he noticed a young boy sitting by a flower bed near a building. The boy looked hungry and dirty and tired. Henry asked if he was all right. The boy said he had slept in the flower bed the night before and that he was hungry. The man couldn’t believe it. He asked, “Where are your parents?” “I don’t know.” “Then who are your parents?” “I don’t know.” “Where do you live?” “All I can remember is living on the street.” “What is your name?” “Bill.” “What’s your last name?” “I don’t know.”

The man took the boy to some houses in the area, asking people if they knew him. No one did. So Henry took the boy to Sunday School with him—the Senior Adult class. He told them the boy’s story. After Sunday School, several men went out over the town, knocking on doors, trying to find someone who knew Bill. No one did. Finally, Henry adopted Bill as his grandson. He kept bringing Bill to Sunday School. Bill liked to read the Scriptures, especially the Psalms. And he really liked the word “Selah” in the Psalms. So they named him Bill Selah.

Dr. Buskirk concluded by saying that Bill Selah was his beloved pastor when he was a freshman in college. Bill Selah helped Dr. Buskirk as he struggled with the call to ministry.

Who knows what faith working through love can do?

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