Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Special Impromptu Sermonic Moment


It is a profound privilege to lead God's people in worship and to have the awesome opportunity to preach and teach. I am grateful for the various teachers and mentors who have taught me to preach over the years. They have taught me so much about praying over, preparing, and delivering God's Word. Yet, there is a certain spontaneity that occurs every time I teach or preach the bible. There are special pastoral promptings of the Holy Spirit that move me to deviate from the particulars of what I may have planned in order to say something to the people of God that makes a biblical concept or principle more vivid to them. I cherish these occurrences when they arrive during a teaching or preaching episode. I call these occurrences "special impromptu sermonic moments".

This morning I had one of the most vivid special impromptu sermonic moments during the singing of a hymn I can ever recall. I was leading worship at the first Westminster Christian Academy chapel service (K-6th grade students) singing "Jesus Lover of My Soul" by Charles Wesley when we sang the words-

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.

Just as we finished the last words of the stanza, I sensed an opportunity for a vivid explanation/teaching moment. For most of these young students I'll bet they snicker a bit singing "to thy bosom fly". I mean, "bosom" is a pretty funny word for obvious reasons, but I didn't want them to miss the perfect word choice by Wesley because they were snickering.

So, as we neared the end of the verse I looked to the back row and saw my baby son Jordan, who is a kindergartner. I stopped the pianist before she started to play the second verse and said to the standing students, "I want to show you something about what we just sang". I then called to Jordan and said, "Jordan, will you come up to daddy"? I really wasn't certain what he would do, would he pause or not come at all ? Instead, just as I had envisioned and hoped- Jordan came immediately forward down the center aisle in front of all 200 students and actually ran to me the last 10 yards. I knelt down and he crashed in to my chest and buried his head there. I held his head to myself because he was realizing everyone was staring at us and became embarrassed. As I held his little head to my chest and kind of protected him from everyone's gaze, I was able to say to the students- "See boys and girls, this is what God does for us...this is flying to God's bosom"!

It was so cool. I praise God for such a teachable moment in my life and hopefully, by His grace, in the life of the students there witnessing.

Friends, through Christ we can fly to God's bosom for protection! Go to Him! He won't ever turn you away! Bury your head in his strong chest, His protective grasp! I have always loved the words of this great hymn, but now because of a rare special impromptu sermonic moment, it has become more precious to me.

9 comments:

tom kessler said...

I don't have words to describe how I felt after reading such a wonderful example, moment, - lost for words.

Thank You.

Anonymous said...

You got me all choked up son and Even your FATHER is speachless!

Rick Calohan said...

Pastor Tony thank you for sharing that story, strangely enough I was trying to discern Charles Wesley’s theology last night considering we have so many of his hymns in our hymnal. So I came across this article of interest. I still presume Wesley was not a Calvinist.

http://www.opc.org/os.html?article_id=42

Speaking of running to the bosom of our Lord, our nephew in the Philippines Darrell, who was born on January 16, 2009 is in need of prayer, we received a call last night that he was in the hospital, unable to hold down breast milk, and the diagnosis is that he is suffering from some form of intestinal blockage that may require surgery. Please keep Darrell and his parents Ana (Dorothy’s sister) and Randy Fernandez in your prayers.

Phantom495 said...

What a simple, yet awesome illustration! PRAISE GOD! A not so great day just turned into Praise for my Heavenly Father!

Frontier Forest said...

Our loving Father and what comfort HE affords us, running into His opened arms! Like you pastor, teachable moments are rare but always cherished! We must seize every opportunity that the Lord brings our way. All of us should strive to have a child’s tender heart and open mind! That’s why Jesus’ parables were and are so powerfully effective.

Zach said...

"As I held his little head to my chest and kind of protected him from everyone's gaze, I was able to say to the students . . . "

It's only by the grace of God that you were able to say anything at all in a moment like that. I couldn't even read it without blubbering! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful moment.

Reepicheep said...

Reflecting on it a day later I'm still blown away. It may well be one of the greatest moments of my life.

Kampfgruppe-H said...

I praise the Almighty for His enduring patience and love for someone such as me...

...And for His servants.

M. Jay Bennett said...

What a great moment, a shadow of the heaven Christ has purchased for us. Thanks for sharing this Tony. Makes me love being a Dad and a child of God all over again.