May Sermon Illustrations

May 14, 2010

Preparation for Death

There is an old story of a king of bygone days and his 'clown' or 'jester', who sometimes said very foolish things and sometimes made very wise utterĀ­ances. One day the jester had said something so foolish that the king, handing him a staff, said to him, 'Take this, and keep it till you find a bigger fool than yourself.'

Some years later, the king was very ill and lay on his deathbed. His courtiers were called; his family and his servants also stood round his bedside. The king, addressing them, said, 'I am about to leave you. I am going on a very long journey, and I shall not return again to this place: so I have called you all to say "Goodbye".' Then his jester stepped forward and, addressing the king, said, 'Your Majesty, may I ask a question? When you have journeyed abroad visiting your people, staying with your nobles, or paying diplomatic visits to other courts, your heralds and servants have always gone before you, making preparations for you. May I ask what preparations your Majesty has made for this long journey that he is about to take?'

'Alas!' replied the king, 'I have made no preparations.'

'Then,' said the jester, 'take this staff with you, for now I have found a bigger fool than myself.'

(Amos 4. 12; Matt. 24. 44; 25. 10)

Subjects: Preparation, Preparedness

| More