Originally uploaded by jon.swanson

My sister called me this evening and said, “The sermon illustration is getting better.”

The background for this comment includes

1. I preached today at our church.
2. My sister is in the hospital with a major blood clot in her left leg.
3. I spent a couple days this week with my two sisters and their children (and Joy’s husband Michael).

I asked how she knew that she was part of an illustration, which, of course, she was. Her response? “I know you.”

She’s exactly right. I like to draw on what is happening in the real lives of the real people around me when I preach and when I teach. I have this funny sense that if faith doesn’t work in real life, it doesn’t matter. And for my sisters, both with health challenges and some major life events during the past year, faith works.

Of course, I’m not talking about some vague faith or belief in doing better. I’m talking about a conversational relationship with God in three persons. And our family has been through difficult times and has survived because of that relationship.

And I guess it’s okay to be predictable, to have people know that you will always come back to something. The question is, is your something worth coming back to?


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