Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Photos of Children That Have Changed History

In the fall of 2016, a single picture of a drowned Syrian boy fleeing the war-torn region took over the headlines, and even impacted the decision of key European leaders. The world saw three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish beach, as his family fled the civil war. He lay there face down as if sleeping, the surf stroking his face. He wore blue pants, a red T-shirt, and gray sneakers with Velcro tabs. A second image shows a police officer lifting Kurdi's limp body from the sand. The photos circled the world in seconds. Many Twitter postings were tagged in Turkish #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik, or "Flotsam of Humanity."

But an article in National Geographic magazine also noted how other children's photos have changed history. The article begins, "Any photo of any child makes us think of our own, or the child we once were. When the photos show children suffering or lost, we quiver with a grief that feels personal."

You may be familiar with these pictures: a photo from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of a firefighter carrying the body of a toddler in pink socks, a screaming girl running away from a bombing in Vietnam (1972), a 1992 photo in Sudan of a girl with a vulture in the background, a 2008 photo after the hurricane in Haiti of a boy pushing a stroller. All these images cause us "to wonder about their stories, their future, and contrast their lives with our own."

One notable missing child, although to be fair no pictures are around, Jesus Christ. The greatest child to change history.

Related Sermon Illustrations

John McCain Experiences the True Light of Christmas

During the 2008 presidential race, John McCain was asked by Time magazine to share his "personal journey of faith." In his article McCain shared a powerful story of something ...

[Read More]

Kindergartners Identify Common Brand Logos

Christian author and speaker Skye Jethani wrote about his kindergarten-aged daughter's homework assignment: Help your child identify as many logos as possible. Jethani said that without ...

[Read More]