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Summary: In the story of Noah and his drunkenness, we see the fall of a man who was lifted up as a model for mankind show his humanity. This story shows that all mankind is in need of God's grace. Nobody is perfect.

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Nobody’s Perfect

Genesis 9:18-28

Intro: A story is told about Fiorello LaGuardia, who, when he was mayor of New York City. Laguardia’s nickname was "the Little Flower" because he was only five foot four and always wore a carnation in his lapel.

He was a colorful character who used to ride the New Your City fire trucks, raid speakeasies with the police department, take entire orphanages to baseball games, and whenever the New York newspapers were on strike, he would go on the radio.and read the Sunday funnies to the kids.

One bitterly cold night in January of 1935, ......the mayor turned up at a night court ...... in an area that served the poorest ward .....in the city.

LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening .......and took over the bench himself.

Within a few minutes, ......a tattered old woman was brought before him, ...... charged with stealing .......a loaf of bread.

She told LaGuardia that her daughter's husband had deserted her, .......her daughter was sick, ...... and her two grandchildren ......were starving.

But the shopkeeper, ....... from whom the bread was stolen, ....... refused to drop the charges.

"It's a real bad neighborhood, your Honor." .......The shopkeeper told the mayor.

"She's got to be punished to teach others around here ......a lesson."

LaGuardia sighed.

He turned to the woman and said, ........"I have got to punish you.

The law makes no exceptions ...... ten dollars ......or ten days in jail."

But even as he pronounced sentence, ...... the mayor was already reaching into his pocket.

He extracted a bill and tossed it into his hat saying, "Here is the ten dollar fine which I now remit; ...... and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town .....where a person has to steal bread ......so that her grandchildren can eat.

Mr. Bailiff, ..... collect the fines and give them to the defendant."

The following day the New York City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to a bewildered old lady ......who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren,...... fifty cents of that amount being contributed by the red-faced grocery store owner.

While some seventy petty criminals, ...... people with traffic violations, ...... and New York policemen, .....each of whom had just paid fifty cents ...... gave the mayor a standing ovation.

Here is my question. ..... Did the elderly lady in the story get what she deserved?

Clearly the answer is,..... of course not.

She had stolen a loaf of bread.

Yes, ......she may have had a reason,...... but stealing is stealing....... and regardless of the reason, ...... punishment would seem to be ......the order of the day.

Folks .....What we see in the story .....is called grace.

When someone is given something they did not work for nor deserve.

Mayor LaGuardia, rather than demanding punishment of the woman herself,......paid the fine ......and then further helped her cause .....with the collection of the fifty-cent fines ......and then gave the money to her.


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