Wimbledon Ironmen


John Isner and Nicolas Mahut are playing what is already the longest match on record in tennis history. They are in the fifth set right now, and the game count is 50-50! The match has been going on for over 8 and half hours. is streaming the match live, and you can watch it here. The match is also being aired on ESPNU. Both of these guys should get a trophy. They are soldiering on, and neither one is willing to throw in the towel.

There’s a sermon illustration here somewhere. I’m sure of it.


  • Nathan

    Please don’t make a sermon illustration out of this! Aren’t their enough sports analogies in sermons?

    In college, a roommate and I would make up funny sermon illustrations. My favorite one was the jack-o-lantern illustration where God scoops out all the yucky garbage in someone’s head, carves a new outlook on life, and then shines his light through the person. Turns out, people actually use an illustration similar to that.

  • Scott

    I usually tune out sermon illustrations. I pray for the day when preachers will focus on the text instead of wasting everyone’s time trying to be cute. I knew guys in seminary who would spend more time coming up with illustrations than working on the text.

  • Dan

    You’re right… this would make a great sermon illustration.

    Those who are against illustrations are doomed to a life of boring, forgettable, and ineffective sermons. And I am saying this as a person who spends the majority of my sermon prep time in the original languages and technical commentaries.

  • Scott

    No, I just find the 5-10 illustrations tend to be remarkably unfunny, full of personal anecdotes, and contribute nothing to the message being delivered. In my experiences their often the most boring part of the sermon.

  • Nathan

    Illustrations are great, but they tend to revolve around the speakers viewpoint, so I’ve listened to a lot of illustrations involving family and sports — both of which are lost on me. Where are the illustrations involving Project Runway? I mean come on — can you imagine having to make a 13th look after spending months putting your heart and soul into a 12-look line? AND the judges want the line to be cohesive! AND there is a huge time crunch!

    I would love it if y’all would have to sit through illustrations like that for a month. Then, you would get a tiny slice of what I’ve lived through listening to all that sports junk all my life.

  • Dan


    I’ve never been much of a sports fan either, so I completely understand. But I know that an awful lot of people are sports fans, so I throw in sports illustrations from time to time. These sometimes require extra research so that my ignorance of all things manly doesn’t show.

    You’re right that a lot of illustrations are poorly done. But good illustrations illuminate the meaning and application of the text and make it stick in the listeners’ minds. This requires the preacher to work hard to get into the head of the biblical author and the heads of his hearers to try to make the two connect meaningfully. Apparently not many preachers that you’ve heard have taken into consideration people who think like you do. But good preachers will do that, and it shows in their illustrations.

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