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Sermon illustrations

Funerals

The Great, Perfect Box

To me, if life boils down to one significant thing, it’s movement.  To live is to keep moving.  Unfortunately, this means that for the rest of our lives we’re going to be looking for boxes. When you’re moving, your whole world is boxes.  That’s all you think about.  “Boxes, where are the boxes?”  You just wander down the street going in and out of stores, “Are there boxes here?  Have you seen any boxes?” 

It’s all you think about. You could be at a funeral, everyone around you is mourning, crying, and you’re looking at the casket.  “That’s a nice box.  Does anybody know where that guy got that box?  When he’s done with it, you think I could get it?  It’s got some nice handles on it.  My stereo would fit right in there.” I mean that’s what death is, really—the last big move of your life.  The hearse is like the van, the pall bearers are your close friends, the only ones you could really ask to help you with a big move like that.  And the casket is that great, perfect box you’ve been looking for your whole life.

Jerry Seinfeld

Rather Be in the Casket

I saw a study that said, the number one fear of the average person is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! How in the world is that? That means to most people, if you have to go to a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.

Is This Anything? Simon & Schuster, 2020.

Stay out of Those!

A very old man lay dying in his bed. In death’s doorway, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookie wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.

With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out on newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when he was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.

“Stay out of those,” she said. “They’re for the funeral.

 Source Unknown

A True Friend

The [true] story is told that Voltaire, the French Enlightenment philosopher, was speaking at the funeral of an aristocrat. In the speech he declared, “He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend — provided, of course, that he really is dead.”

Stuart Strachan Jr.

See also Illustrations on Death, Heaven, Hell, Life After Death