Monday, November 11, 2019


Yesterday I was surprised.  Someone stopped me after the morning service and thanked me for a sermon I had preached two weeks before.  She said: 'It was your illustration with the slide of a fruit bowl.  It has really stayed with me.'  And then she added: "It's the way that this fruit contrasts with the really ugly list of our normal human behaviour.  It's the contrast between these lists that really challenges me. Thank you for the picture!'

Yes, I was surprised - in at least two ways. First, that a simple visual like this had struck home enough to be worth mentioning two weeks' later. And it was so simple - just a bowl of fruit. Second, and amazingly, the serious point of contrasting the fruit in Gal. 5:22 with the sinful nature of v.19 was uppermost in her mind.  So often if illustrations can be recalled at all their whole point is frequently forgotten.

It was the first time that I had used power-point in my local church.  In the past I have shared in debate about the pros and cons of powerpoint in preaching and, indeed, of illustrations themselves. How much do they add or detract?  Powerpoint can so easily be abused as, by example, an overuse of words on the screen which threaten to undo the power of the spoken word.  Yet, here was a clear example of its value - especially to visual learners.

Surprises like this are always welcome!

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