[forthright] A Rooster Crowed

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 18:03:29 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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Today's prayer: To be a man
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COLUMN: Field Notes

A Rooster Crowed
by Michael Brooks

Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered
the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the
rooster crows, you will deny me three times. So he
went out and wept bitterly" (Matthew 26:74,75).

A small group of us were sleeping in an empty room
of a Nepali mountain "row house" after hiking into
Mendogaon and preaching the previous day. These
houses were built of stone, with slate roofs. Each
room housed a Tamang family and measured not more
than 8' X 12', with low ceilings and no windows.

I had noted during the day that there were two
"setting hens" nesting in the room on grain
stores, then when we came in to sleep that a
rooster and another small flock of hens were
huddled up asleep just inside the door. I did not
think anything particular of this, being used to
the intimate relationship between Nepali villagers
and their livestock.

I did notice however when the rooster declared
"sunrise" at 4:30 the next morning, hours before
we had planned to rise and only a few feet from my
head. The stone walls proved very effective
amplifiers -- "Loud" does not begin to describe
it!

As startling and unpleasant as that rooster's crow
was, however, it fades to silence before the awful
sound that awakens one to sin and guilt. The
rooster that reminded Peter of his Savior's
prophecy was real. It also serves as a useful
symbol of all such reminders. When we sin, there
is always a following "cock's crow." It may be the
accusation of betrayed friends or relatives. It
may be the physical consequences of our actions,
such as fatal car crashes, disease, or addiction.
It will inevitably be the stern glare of our
creator and judge. "Do not be deceived, God is not
mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also
reap" (Galatians 6:7). Wherever we are, and
whatever wrong we have done, the rooster will
always crow. And we will invariably go out and
weep bitterly.

There is good news, however, when that call of
awakening comes in this life. Peter wept, but
after that he repented. Jesus forgave him, and he
went on to be one of the greatest witnesses and
servants the Church has ever had. Sin is terrible,
but God will forgive and we can repent. The
rooster crows at the beginning of the day, not the
end. If we respond appropriately to that call it
can open the door to a new day, a new life, and a
new creation.

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