Cooperation Sermon Illustrations

Cooperation Sermon Illustrations

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Too Late

One evening, years ago, in the Province of Alberta, Canada, a happy father and mother went out for a stroll through a near-by wheat-field with their little boy. As they wandered through the field, each thought the other held the hand of their child.

All at once they realized that the boy was not with them. They called, but there was no answer. They became more and more disturbed, then terrified, and hunted everywhere with no results.

Finally, the father went back to the village and got a searching party to assist them. Many willing helpers searched all night without avail. After many hours, someone finally suggested that they join hands and cover the entire grain-field, and not leave a single square foot uncovered in this last effort.

They joined hands and soon came across the body of the child, and a hush spread over them all, because they had found the child too late. As the group stood there in silence, with bowed heads, someone was heard to whisper: "If we only had joined hands before it was too late!"—Selected.

The Fanner Bees

It was a glorious night of midsummer. The old bee garden was bathed in a soft, crystalline light. At the door of a hive we stopped. There arose from the hive a sibilant note, persistent, not unlike the sound of sea-waves,—advancing, — retreating. "They are Fanner bees," whispered the old beekeeper. "It's their job to keep the hive sweet and fresh. They are standing with their heads lowered, toward the center of the hive. Their wings are moving so rapidly that if you saw them you would think you were looking at a gray mist. They are drawing the bad air through one side of the entrance, while the pure air is sucked in on the other side." Standing there, I felt close to one of nature's wonders, the mystery of the hive life. Presently the old beekeeper stooped to the hive, holding a lighted candle. Instantly the light was extinguished by the strong air current, those infinitesimal bee wings, moving in unison, making a draft so strong that the candle light was instantly quenched. As we stood there in the starlit garden, the old preacher said, "The Fanners — drawing out bad air, letting in the fresh. Isn't that how people who call themselves Christians ought to act?" If we had enough fanners, and if they were as keen on their jobs as those bees were on theirs, wouldn't the great hive of the world grow sweet and fresh?—From an English Journal.

Holy Spirit Unites

There is one thing I have noticed as I have traveled in different countries; I have never known the Spirit of the Lord to work where the people were divided. There is one thing that we must have if we are to have the Holy Spirit of God work in our midst, and that is unity..—D. L. Moody.

Two boys sat talking in leisurely conversation. One a city lad, had come to visit his friend on the farm. Said one,

"What do you say, let's go to the barn and look at the horses."

"It's O.K. with me!" the other replied, and so to the barn they went.

In the stall stood a team of beautiful black horses, which the boys petted, discussing their choices in a general way.

The city lad, knowing little of the true value or marks of a good work horse, said, by way of comparison,

"I'd rather have this'n; there's not a blemish on 'im." But the other replied,

"Boy, you would not if you had to work 'im, he's the best lookin' but this one's the best horse on the farm," giving his favorite horse a big hug, "he'll pull till he's almost stretched out flat, on a hard pull, his collar does not fit any too well, but he'll pull anyhow, that's why he's got scars on his shoulders. The other'n won't come up against the collar when the pullin' gets tough. Looks do not count for much in a tight place." The Gospel Herald.

Unity Not by Force

Unity was never yet brought about by force. What, then, ought we to do? We must leave alone those who do not agree with us, and wait quietly till God shall think fit to bring us together. We must learn to be thankful if sin is opposed, and the Gospel preached, and the devil's kingdom pulled down, though the work may not be done exactly in the way we like. We must praise God if souls are converted and Christ is magnified, no matter who the preacher may be and to what church he may belong. Happy are those who can say with Paul, "If Christ be preached, I rejoice; yea, and will rejoice."—Bishop Ryle.

The Value of the Individual

The story is told that once, when Sir Michael Costa was having a rehearsal with a vast array of performers and hundreds of voices, as the choir rang out with the accompanying instruments, one man who played the piccolo far up in the corner ceased to play, probably thinking that in all the din his instrument would not be missed. Suddenly the great conductor threw up his hand and all was still. Then he cried out, "Where is the piccolo?" The quick ear of the master musician missed it, and the chorus was spoiled because it failed in its part. God expects every Christian today to do his duty.—Otterbein Teacher.


When Henry Ward Beecher expressed his admiration for a horse he was hiring, the liveryman responded enthusiastically, "He'll work any place you put him and will do all that any horse can do."

Beecher regarded the horse with greater appreciation than before and said wistfully, "I wish he were a mem­ber of my church!"

How we need workers like him!—Leo Polman.

Christians of Narrow Vision

Dr. H. A. Ironside told the following story at a Bible conference: A small Christian sect of an exclusive temperament was holding a convention. Outside the auditorium there was displayed the motto, "Jesus Only." A strong wind blew the first three letters away. "Us only is too often the spirit shown by Christians of narrow vision. —Sunday School Times.

A Lesson from a Bird

The naturalist, W. H. Hudson, tells in one of his books about a thrush and a blackbird that always came together, visiting the place where food was put for birds. The blackbird would pick up the crumbs and put them in the thrush's mouth. Then it was noticed that some trap had cut off the thrush's beak close to its head, so that it could not pick up food, and the blackbird was coming to the rescue. Can men afford to let a bird be kinder than they are? Do we not often see men take advantage of another's necessities, instead of going to their relief? How greedily men pick up bankruptcy sales at the smallest possible price, instead of at a fair price! How quickly, when a worker is losing his grip on his job, do other workers seek his place, rather than seek to encourage him to do better work! If we know anyone that cannot pick up the crumbs of life, let us pick them up for him.—Christian Herald.


Sir Wilfred Grenfell recently gave a striking illustration of cooperation among religious bodies. He had amputated the infected leg of a Catholic neighbor in Labrador. Later, speaking in a Congregational Church in the United States, he asked if anyone had a leg they did not want, for artificial legs are hard to get in Labrador. At the close of the service a Methodist woman offered him a perfectly good leg, which her Presbyterian husband had used until his death. Grenfell concluded, "When I, an Episcopalian, took that Presbyterian leg given me by a Methodist woman in a Congregational church, back to Labrador, and fitted it on my Roman Catholic friend, it enabled her to walk perfectly.—United Presbyterian.

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