Sermon Illustrations

Let me tell you a story - it is a modification of a story I wrote a few years ago and I simply want to draw out that each person invested what God had invested in them.

It is called the Ballerina.

Once upon a time there was an orphan ballerina - how she loved to dance.

She was the most elegant of the dancers in the whole village.

But the sadness was she had no shoes. She had rough leather sandals that she wore as she did her daily chores. But by night she would tiptoe out on the grass and dance elegantly under the stars in the clearing by the woods where she lived.

One day an old cobbler was making his way home through the woods near where the ballerina lived.

Quite by accident - some would say it was by a higher design - he came upon the clearing at the very time the ballerina was dancing. The Old Cobbler had once lived in Moscow and had been to the ballet and enjoyed some of the worlds best.

But when he came to the clearing he stood entranced. Bathed in the light of the setting sun and unnoticed he stood and watched the ballerina in her peasants clothes dance across the stage of grass and clover. Never in his whole life had the Cobbler seen such natural grace and elegance. His heart lept for joy at the beauty, expression innocence and sheer wonderment of the dance.

When the ballerina at last had finished her dance, to her mind only viewed by the woodland creatures and only accompanied by the symphony of darting, singing birds - she bowed to them expecting only the gentle breese to offer it’s silent applause.

Imagine her surprise when she heard the applause of the calloused wrinkled hands of the old cobbler.

"Bravo - Bravo" he shouted his wrinkled face smiling the warmest most loving smile that the ballerina had ever seen.

She tiptoed over to the cobbler bowed to him and her face smilingly inquired just as to who he was.

"Why I am the cobbler - I mend shoes - make shoes - fix heels and restore sandals so that they are like new.

That is my art," said the cobbler. "But you young lady have a far greater art. I have seen the greatest dance, but compared to you, they are like clumsy cobblers plodding through the forest. You must dance in the great ballets of the world. You have a talent far greater than the best the world has seen."

The ballerina blushed "Why thank you kind sir - I was taught what little I know by my Grandmother who, even as we talk, has soup warming for my dinner. Will you not join us?"

The cobbler agreed and over tea there was much happy talk with the ballerina’s woodsman grandfather and her kind old grandmother. They talked mostly though of the ballerina’s great talent.

The cobbler told them of the great ballets he had seen in Moscow and how the Ballerina was better than any he had seen.

He told them how he knew Stazinasky the great Ballet Master in Moscow - he procduced a piece of paper and wrote a letter of introduction for the ballerina to the great master - and then after the family had retired - the old cobbler worked all night by the light of the flickering oil lantern.

As the sun broke into the clearing that morning the old cobbler lay as if asleep sprawled across the kitchen table - at some stage in the night he had sadly slipped from life into death.

But even though he had died there was an expression of contentment on the cobblers face.

For on the table lay the most beautiful pair of dancing shoes you have ever seen.

Were they blue or were they silver? You couldn’t really tell, for as the sunlight streamed through the window, light seemed to dance around the shoes and swirl around in endless displays of beauty. The Ballerina tiptoed into the kitchen - she took in the picture of the cobbler and the shoes and the dancing light - from her pocket she took out the letter to the Cobbler’s Moscow friend and read again the invitation to dance.

As tears began to fall - the Ballerina pressed the shoes and the letter to her heart and only God and the scullery mice could hear her say:-

"The Cobbler shall not have died in vain."

The people in this little story - the cobbler - The Ballerina and the Grandparents all used their God given talents to produce the great dancer -

As a christian you and I need to ask just what is it that God has uniquely invested in you?

For that is the thing you need to use - not for your glory or even the worlds praise but for the glory of God.

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