Monday, April 16, 2007

I was reading this sermon about faith the other day. At one part, the pastor talked about Paul singing hymns while in prison. A familiar story, eh?

What has stuck with me is that the pastor pointed out a different sort of thought. It wasn't that he was singing hymns or that he was doing so in jail. It was that he was doing so in jail, at midnight. It was probably dark and fetid and rife with rodents and bugs and all manner of unpleasant things. It was midnight in such a place, and Paul was singing hymns.

The pastor asked, almost reflectively, when our midnight came, in whatever form, what was our response...

It is midnight in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Paul sang because God did not punish him by putting him in jail. Paul sang because he knew that God works all things, not some, but all, things together for the good. Paul sang because He is worthy of praise...even in the darkness, even in the stench, even in the suffering.

I have thought long on my response to the pastor's questions because a part of me feels as if midnight has been lingering for months on end, the darkness and stench and creepy crawly things pressing in on all sides. During this time, my songs have faded to weak warbles, hardly recognizable as paeans to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Midnight can linger. Midnight can fall unexpectedly. And, in this life, there will always be a midnight. When it comes, what will our response?

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