Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Strange Measurements Can't Help Us Measure God

Humans have devised many scales of measurement. We measure height or length in terms of inches, yards, and meters. We weigh objects in pounds and ounces. We divide time from millennia all the way down to nanoseconds (one-billionth of a second). We measure temperature down to absolute zero (0 degrees Kelvin or minus 459.7 degrees Fahrenheit)

But you may not be aware of these strange measurements:

  • The Smoot: As almost every MIT student knows, a smoot is a unit of length equal to five feet seven inches. In 1958, a 5 foot 7 inch tall fraternity pledge named Oliver Smoot agreed to be used to measure the Harvard Bridge which connects Boston and Cambridge. After repeatedly lying down on the bridge and having his position marked in chalk, it turned out that the bridge was 364.4 smoots (and an ear) long. Google now offers the option to measure anything in smoots.
  • The "Just a Moment": Whenever somebody asks you to do something and you reply "just a moment," don't think you're being sneaky by not giving them a precise time. You're not. A moment was a measurement of time used during the medieval period that's roughly equal to one and a half minutes.
  • The Scoville: The Scoville Scale is used to measure the amount of capsaicin in chilies, because it's important to know the exact temperature of the inferno that's raging in your mouth. For example, the Scolville rates a pimento (100-500), cayenne pepper (30,000-50,000), the Carolina reaper (1,000,000), and law enforcement pepper spray (5,000,000) on the scale.

Possible Preaching Angles: Certain things about God and our live in Christ are completely beyond our measurement instruments—God's power, God's grace, our inheritance, Christ's riches, the value of Christ's blood, God's infinity, eternal life.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Secular Sources on Our Need For Awe

The March/April 2016 issue of Psychology Today attempted to give readers several reasons to cultivate a sense of awe and wonder with their article "It's Not All About You!" The article ...

[Read More]

Why Thomas Aquinas Stopped Writing

Thomas Aquinas, a medieval theologian, created one of the greatest intellectual achievements of Western civilization in his Summa Theologica. It's a massive work: thirty-eight ...

[Read More]