A Fresh Way To Communicate It!
Many times I just bypass the plethora of emails I receive every day —– check-check-check-check — DELETE ALL.
However, when it is related to preaching, I will often take the time to check it out and see if there is something that is personally profitable or expositorily useful to illustrate a profitable concept.
Did that today — though a few days late in “checking and deleting” — okay — 10 days late — The article (see below) was sent to me on the 17th and it’s the 27th of February — 2020!
“Okay — let’s see what this “article is about . . . . .
The title did not catch my interest . . . .
“Preaching the Sting and Joy of Repentance”
But then the first several sentences did pull me into reading it a little further . . . .
“Last month I preached a 30-minute sermon on one of the finest sermons ever written. It’s also one of the shortest sermons ever written. The preacher delivered his nine-word (in English) sermon in less than fifteen seconds. But that tiny sermon started a revolution, or should I say The Revolution.”
In the brief article, Woodley stated . . . .
“here’s how I pictured the joy of turning around (the Greek word metanoia). Imagine you’re in a very noisy crowded place, like Union Station in downtown Chicago. You’re walking in step with a mob of noisy people, your head down as you trudge along. Then, all of a sudden, you hear behind you someone call your name. You think it’s the voice of someone you love (your spouse, a good friend, a child, or parent). What will you do? Well, you stop and turn around. You start walking towards the voice that called your name. You have changed directions. But here’s the important point: you are moving towards the voice of your beloved one. That’s the positive side of repentance. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s always stirred up within us by and through love, the Triune God’s loving pursuit of us.
After reading it, I thought — that’s an excellent way to give a fresh take on repentance. Usually, preachers merely say — “It means to turn around 180 degrees and go the other way.” But here it is different and more visual.
Let me tweak it a little — and “run with it” a little more.
you’re in a very noisy crowded place
like Union Station in downtown Chicago
Suggested Tweak Like Union Station in downtown Chicago, or Penn Station in NYC, or a crowded airport terminal concourse (which is more likely to identify with an audience.)
You’re walking in step with a mob of noisy people
your head down as you trudge along.
Suggested Tweak: your head bobbing up and down as you work your way around and through the crowd — looking for your “gate” or “terminal.”
Then, all of a sudden, you hear behind you someone call your name.
You think it’s the voice of someone you love (your spouse, a good friend, a child, or parent).
Suggested Tweak: You know that it’s the voice of someone you love . . .
What will you do?
Suggested Tweak: What do you do?
Well, you stop and turn around.
You start walking towards the voice that called your name.
Suggested Tweak: You stop and start walking towards the voice that called you — a voice you know that knows you — and cares for you – and loves you
You have changed directions.
But here’s the important point: you are moving towards the voice of your beloved one.
Suggested Tweak: you have turned around and are now moving the other direction — towards the voice that called you and loves you.
That’s the positive side of repentance.
Suggested Tweak: That’s repentance — the positive side of repentance — and positive because of WHO has called your name
Yes, it’s hard.
Yes, it’s hard. It is the WHO which takes something difficult at times and makes it far easier.
The Spiirt of God is always calling out our name when we are walking the other direction — the wrong direction.
(Not sure why the writer decided to call up the “Triune God” since it does not drive the analogy any better or further.
It can enhance the analogy if you stated: “The Father is always calling out our name — The Son calls out our name from the cross — The Spirit’s ministry is to call us out — all as we walk the other direction.
Just my read of it.)
When God calls out your name it is because you have been going to the wrong direction. Youare headed for a “gagte” / “terminal” which will being you further from Him — and He wants to turn you around before you get any further away from Him . . . . .
Regardless of my tweaks — it is an excellent and worthwhile analogy — which you can make your own by tweaking, revising, and running with it.
It is a “Tony Evans” picturesque look-alike.
It promotes clarity and force to a biblical concept, which is often hackneyed in its explanation.