A Rooster Crowed

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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