Great (and unlikely) sermon illustrations

I love good sermon analogies, especially when they are so delightfully odd, and yet relevant that I cannot even be jealous that I didn’t come up with them. (Actually, with proper attribution, I can use them myself later on. Most preachers are flattered by the re-use!)

In the last few days, I’ve come across two. First, in her book So Much More: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality, Deb Reinstra has this great analogy about love and free will. God created us with free will so that our love toward God would be freely given. However, that opens everything up to some risk. This is something like kids wanting their family to get a real puppy rather than relying on the stuffed variety. The real puppy shows real affection. (Animal behaviorists, hold your fire! This means you, Dad! It’s not just about the food.) But the real puppy can also create some real problems in the house. I have friends whose dog was so destructive she bent the bars on her steel crate and wiggled the crate over to a recliner which she managed to tear apart through the bent bars. Kind of like we humans and sin–sometimes we will work our way around any obstacle just to do some really bad stuff.

My friend Meg, who is spending the summer doing ministry in one of the national parks, just preached a sermon on doubting Thomas and bears. I’ll provide the link so that you can be delighted by this one as it unfolds with Meg’s special variety of wit.