One of the boats we are meeting up with frequently while on our journey here in the Bahamas is “Miss Grace”. Though I do not know the origin of this name; most boat names have some sort of story or significance behind them, I am struck by the appropriateness of such a name this time of year. All year long I am mindful of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) that I receive, but perhaps at Easter it is even more prominent in my thoughts as is the cost of such grace. I know that it is only because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that I am able to come to the cross seeking forgiveness I do not deserve.
Today at 6am, thanks to a dog that likes to wake up early, I was out walking around the marina and docks. The full moon was slipping down below the horizon casting a glow across the marina yard. As I slowly lead the dog form tree to tree I could hear several roosters crowing.
For reasons I do not wish to dwell on, there are several roosters, chickens and baby chicks, which reside in a thicket and field just beyond the restaurant kitchen. These roosters do not quite “cock-a-doodle-do” so much as cackle and sort of screech out an odd melodious choking sound, “ah ah ah, ahhh, eech!”
In the quiet of today’s walk, in the stillness of the air, the roosters crowing sent shivers up my spine.
Today I thought of Peter. I thought of his cowering just beyond the violent persecution of Jesus. I thought of how his heart must have caught in his throat when HE heard the rooster crow…just as his friend and savior had predicted. I thought of his overwhelming shame at the realization that he had indeed denied knowing his Lord.
This morning I too felt overwhelming shame at the sound of the rooster’s crowing. How often have my choices saddened my God? How often have I taken for granted the gift of every breath of life? How many times have I squandered His resources or walked out of His will for my life? The rooster’s crowing continued to fill the air around me. I wanted to cry, my heart ached.
I watched the moon completely slide under the curve of the earth, its pale light giving way to a dimness that is difficult to describe. Within moments, a soft light emerged across the marina. My eyes slowly adjusted from the dimness to pastel light as the sun punched its way up through the clouds on the horizon. I am thankful today, and always, for the hope of redemption, a new day, for forgiveness and God’s grace.
Those roosters certainly do not care what time of day it is, they continued to carry on throughout today…but I am glad. You see, now when I hear their ragged cries, I remember God’s amazing grace, I remember my need for redemption, and I think to praise my redeemer! My Redeemer LIVES!
“And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back…and entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. HE HAS RISEN HE IS NOT HERE!” Mark 16:2-6