My family and I attended church in my hometown this past Christmas Eve. Since the regular pastor had recently moved away, we had an interim pastor conducting the service. He was an older, no-nonsense fellow who gave the impression there wasn't much he hadn't seen.
When it came time for the children's sermon, a rather large group of kids gathered around him. Part of the sermon involved Bible story books, which the children in attendance would be receiving as gifts.
However, partway through handing them out, the pastor realized he didn't have enough to go around. He did a quick headcount and seemed momentarily flustered. I wondered if he would incorporate this conundrum into his message somehow, perhaps as a lesson in sharing or generosity toward your neighbor.
"I'll tell you what," he finally said, matter-of-factly. "If you didn't get a book, see me afterward and I'll give you a buck."
Never has preaching been more practical.