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America - Between the Second and Third Watch
by Rik Charbonneaux
6/20/2020 / Christian Living
"Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times." Mark 17:42 NIV
When Peter denied Christ three times between the "Midnight Watch" and the Watch of "Cock Crowing"*, as Christ had predicted, and he denied himself three times a well.
The narrative that best shows this is the Gospel of Mark:
Denial #1 - When at the palace courtyard where our Lord was taken following His arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane, the female porter of an admission gate asked him: "You aren't one of this man's disciples too, are you?" ... He replied, "I am not."John 18:17 NIV
- Within that answer, Peter clearly denied any association with Christ at all, especially being a believer in Him.
Denial #2 - When Peter stood by the fire, "another [man] saw him, and said, Thou art also of them." .. "Man, I am not!" Luke 22:58 NIV
- Within that answer, Peter not only denied being an Apostle of Christ, he also clearly denied any association with any of Christ's Apostles at all.
Denial #3. "After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” .. "“I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Mark 14:70-71 NIV
- In the manner and to the subject which he responded, Peter not only denies Christ for the third time, but he also clearly denies ever having been a Galilean, thereby denying his greater brethren as well.
After being told the prediction about himself by Christ, which happened around the "midnight" watch**, Peter had denied Christ three times, had denied himself, his fellow Apostles, and had denied his greater brethren of Galilee, before the watch of the "cock crowing" at the changing of the courtyard gatekeepers.
*By the time of Christ, the Romans had established four military night watches in Jerusalem called: "even" (evening), "midnight" (12am), "cock crowing" (3am) and "morning" (sunrise).
In comparison to America today:
Like Peter, this is what America is doing today: more people denying the power of the atoning blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sin, more people leaving Christ's churches and fellowship, and more people turning to themselves for answers.
There was no "cock crowing" watch that marked the end of the period of the 1980s to this day, but the sadness of the departure Christ and His churched people is just as much as a harbinger of things to come when we go forth without Christ, especially amid the uncertainty of the Corvid-19 pandemic and its predicted effect on the world's population.
America's majority of citizen have indeed denied her and themselves right out of being a "Christian Nation" (Pres. Barak Obama) and the sadness of this departure from Christ and the fellowship of His churched people is a harbinger to the even worse prospect of going forward without Christ in their hearts.
Just as Peter went on from his denial experience to become the spiritual powerhouse of faith that Christ enabled him to become, those of us who have denied Him, or His churched people can return to Him for He has not lost one bit of His love for you.
Won't you turn to Him by redirecting your steps toward Him and toward His churched people?
Great joy awaits those who do! Amen!
Rik Charbonneaux is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.
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