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Sermon illustrations

Drunkenness

The Clever Husband

The drunk husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife.

When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. “You were drunk last night weren’t you!”

“No, honey.” “Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?”

Source unknown

Housing the Fullness of God

One of my favorite stories is of John of Kronstadt. He was the Nineteenth Century Russian Orthodox priest at the time when alcohol abuse was rampant. None of the priests ventured out of their churches to help the people. They waited for people to come to them. John, compelled by love, went out into the streets. People said he would lift the hungover, foul-smelling people from the gutter, cradle them in his arms and say to them, “this is beneath your dignity. You were meant to house the fullness of God.”

James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows (The Apprentice Series), InterVarsity Press

A Life Changed by a Stolen Gideon Bible

Steve May tells the story of “Dee,” who grew up in east Tennessee in an affluent, but unchurched home. Dee’s time at college involved as much wild living as it did studying, and soon her life became a never ending search for a party.

One weekend, Dee and her friends rented some rooms at a local motel, and set about the usual activities involving drugs and alcohol. On this weekend, the group also devised a contest to see who could steal the most from the room. One of the things Dee stole was the Gideon Bible.

Since they all thought it was funny, Dee won the contest.

Several weeks later, Dee’s life began to fall apart. She discovered she was pregnant. Abortion seemed the only solution, and it was a solution she had used in the past. Her boyfriend left her, and Dee found herself all alone.

One night, in the midst of her fear and uncertainty, in the midst of her crisis, she picked up the Bible she had stolen and began to read.

She flipped the book open to 1 Samuel, and found the story of Hannah, who desperately wanted a child. It was the first time Dee had ever read the Bible, and the words seemed to have a life of their own. In a short time, as she read more of the Bible, and as she found Christians ready to help her, Dee accepted Christ. As the years went by, Dee grew deeper in her walk with Christ, and by the time her child was a teen-ager, both mother and daughter were telling their story to groups all around their community.

It was crisis that brought Dee to a point of searching for answers, and it was the Bible that took her to the only place where she’d find true wisdom. And immediately, that wisdom changed the way Dee lived.

Andy Cook

Pushed to the Brink of Destruction

Psychiatrist James Knight describes in graphic detail the experience that members of  Alcoholics Anonymous experience:

These persons have had their lives laid bare and pushed to the brink of destruction by alcoholism and its accompanying problems. When these persons arise from the ashes of the hellfire of addictive bondage, they have an understanding, sensitivity, and willingness to enter into and maintain healing encounters with their fellow alcoholics.

In this encounter they cannot and will not permit themselves to forget their brokenness and vulnerability. Their wounds are acknowledged, accepted, and kept visible. Further, their wounds are used to illuminate and stabilize their own lives while they work to bring the healing of sobriety to their alcoholic brothers and sisters, and sometimes to their sons and daughters. The effectiveness of AA’s members in the care and treatment of their fellow alcoholics is one of the great success stories of our time, and graphically illustrates the power of wounds, when used creatively, to lighten the burden of pain and suffering.

James A. Knight, M.D., in Psychiatry and Religion: Overlapping Concerns, ed. Lillian Robinson, M.D. (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1986).

See also Illustrations on Addiction, Alcohol, Drugs