Visions of Wagon Wheels to Ferris Wheels

It was great to be able to take in some of the events at the Listowel Fair this July after not having in-person fair events the past two summers. This year’s theme was “Visions of Wagon Wheels to Ferris Wheels.”

At the annual worship service that is held each year on the Sunday morning of the fair weekend, I had the privilege of preaching. I used the fair theme as the basis of the idea for the sermon. This is the shortened version of that sermon.

We have two kinds of wheels presented in the theme and I want to give you my impressions of both. Wagon wheels seem to be associated with work, they are meant to help carry or move a load. They are used to fulfill a purpose. While a Ferris wheel would not be associated with work but more so with pleasure and something majestic. On the Ferris wheel you get above all the activity and you have a tremendous view to see into the distance.

As Christians, spiritually speaking we need the Ferris wheel type of experience in our lives so we can see what our faith is all about. We must see from God’s perspective and have a heavenly view. The Apostle Paul prayed this for the church in Ephesus “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him… that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…”

The Apostle Paul’s prayer and desire for God’s people was to have revelation and understanding that was beyond the natural. There is a seeing that Paul was calling them to, that comes from the Spirit of God and enlightens the heart of the believer. This seeing captivates us to a heavenly perspective, a Ferris wheel type of view.

When we see from up above, from this Heavenly perspective it enables us to do our Christian service which corresponds to the work of the wagon wheel part of our illustration. Sometimes as Christians we reduce our relationship to God to be about working for Him or for the church. As a result, we think it is all about the work and that somehow that work will gain us some acceptance before God.

Our heavenly perspective enables us to see that our acceptance before God was accomplished by Christ Jesus at Calvary. Our Christian work or service is to flow from our love for God and it needs purpose.

The farmer has a Ferris wheel view of their purpose for their work which is larger than themselves. The farm wagons wheels turn for a purpose, not just to do work in and of itself, but to fulfill the ultimate goal of the farmer. That goal is to feed and care for their families but not only for their own families but for everyone in the community, the country and the world.

Our service unto God but towards people is for a purpose, so that God’s Kingdom would be expanded, and that people everywhere would also experience the same Love of God that we have experienced. To accomplish that end we need both a Ferris wheel to gain the view and a wagon wheel to carry the weight of the work.


Fred Erb serves as pastor of Listowel Community Church.

Fred Erb