I think it was that year we, i.e., Air Force chaplains were required to go Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, at least those of us on the east side of the Mississippi River, for five days of seminars. The theme was "Hope." One day the Rev. Dr. George A. Buttrick, one of the great preachers (liberal) of the 20th Century, was the guest speakers in the chapel service. I don't remember what he preached about that day. All I remember was his condemnation of those of us who were chaplains in the military, and associated us with the Vietnam War. He apparently did not understand that we were there to provide for the spiritual, moral, and ethical needs of the men and women in the military and to provide for the free exercise of religion.
Regardless of his verbal reprimand of us something supernatural happened that transcended what was said or preached. It was amazing. There was a holy hush that swept across that large congregation, not only of seminary students, Air Force chaplains, but citizens in the community. I would estimate there were about 700 people present.
The entire congregation walked silently out of that chapel without saying a word. You could have heard a pin drop. The sound of silence was deafening but declaring the glory and majesty of the presence of the unseen holy God Who loves us and cares for everyone.
It was in the fall of the year. Leaves were falling. The ground was covered in a rich multi-colored blanket of leaves. It was a beautiful sight and reminded me of my college and seminary days in Wilmore, KY, at Asbury College (for one year) and Asbury Theological Seminary for three years. As I walked in silence I begin singing inside of me, not out loud, a song I had not sung in many years. It was Franny Crosby's hymn or Gospel Song, "Rescue the Perishing."
For the life of me, I could not remember the stanzas of this song. We were staying on campus in a men's dormitory. As soon as I got back to the dorm where I was staying, I found a Broadman Hymnal that had this song of evangelism.
The fourth stanza goes like this:
Down in the human heart,
crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried
that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart,
wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken
will vibrate once more.
My dear friends--that's it. This is the key to counseling, psychotherapy, group therapy, etc. Franny Crosby captured the essence of what the Holy Spirit can and will do if we will allow the Comforter to operate in the lives of our people. Every person has needs and our God can and will meet them.
We are talking about the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit.
As you and I travel from our homes to Sunday school and church this Sunday, let us go in the Spirit expecting supernatural things to happen. A great revival and break out in our local churches can happen this Sunday.
Lord Jesus, may it be so!